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Talkin' Pets News

June 12, 2021

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Dr. Linda Register - East West Animal Hospital - Lutz, Florida

Producer - Devin Leech

Network Producer - Kevin Lane

Special Guests - Dr. Dana Varble, Chief Veterinary Officer, The North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) & Gene O'Neil, Chief Executive Officer, NAVC - Life Changing Advances In Animal Medicine


Researchers have uncovered a microscopic creature that managed to survive after being frozen for about 24,000 years in Siberia. Scientists dug up the tiny worm-like creature, called a bdelloid rotifer​, from the Alazeya River​ in the Russian Arctic.

Once slowly thawed in a lab, the microscopic multi-celled organisms were able to reproduce asexually, scientists found. The tiny invertebrates were also able to feed.

Known as an Arctic rotifer, the creatures measures less than a millimetre. Despite its small size, it has a complete digestive tract including a mouth. The microscopic multicellular animals typically live in watery environments and are known for their ability to survive extremely low temperatures. Previous reports suggested they could survive up to a decade when frozen between −20C to 0C. However, in the new study the scientists state that the bdelloid rotifer recovered from northeastern Siberian permafrost was around 24,000 years old.

“This constitutes the longest reported case of rotifer survival in a frozen state,” the authors said. The scientists found the creatures in a core of frozen soil extracted from the Siberian permafrost using a drilling rig, CNN reported.

As part of their study, the researchers froze and thawed some modern day rotifers living in permafrost areas. They found some of the creatures could withstand the formation of ice crystals in the freezing process. While not all of them survived, study suggested that the creatures had some mechanism that could shield them from harm at very low temperatures. “Clearly, the ancient rotifer is capable of surviving a relatively slow freezing process that allows ice crystals detrimental for cells to form,” the authors wrote in the study.

“In combination with its occurrence in permafrost, this suggests that the discovered [rotifers] has effective biochemical mechanisms of organ and cell shielding necessary to survive low temperatures. Our discovery is of interest not only for evolutionary biology but also for practical purposes of cryobiology and biotechnology,” the authors stated.

“The takeaway is that a multicellular organism can be frozen and stored as such for thousands of years and then return back to life – a dream of many fiction writers,” Stas Malavin​, one of the study's authors told the Press Association.

“Of course, the more complex the organism, the trickier it is to preserve it alive frozen and, for mammals, it's not currently possible. Yet, moving from a single-celled organism to an organism with a gut and brain, though microscopic, is a big step forward,” he was reported saying.

Further research was needed to find out how the tiny creatures achieved such a feat, he said. The Guardian also reported Malavin stating that the rotifers found in the permafrost would have likely been under the feet of big woolly creatures which were now extinct. Last year, a well-preserved Ice Age woolly rhino with many of its internal organs still intact was recovered from permafrost in Russia's extreme north. In recent years mammoths, woolly rhinos, an Ice Age foal, and cave lion cubs have emerged from the frozen areas of Siberia.


A problem that's gotten even bigger during the pandemic is the number of peacocks and peahens roaming around the San Gabriel Valley in California.

They may look pretty, but they make a lot of noise.

"It sounds like babies being tortured and with a close-up microphone. It's very... shocking," said Chapman Woods resident Kathleen Tuttle.

"There's no way you can sleep through it, and it's extremely distracting," said Tuttle.

Somewhere between 50 to 100 peacocks and their mating calls live in a Chapman Woods neighborhood. Neighbors say peacocks have lived in the area for more than 100 years and were originally brought to the community to liven it up in the 1920s. However, the colorful birds have become a nuisance to neighbors.

"There's too many of them, and they leave a mess," said Chapman Woods resident Mary Bassel. "And I watch them, so far my car hasn't gotten hit, but I watch them pecking at people's cars and so they create havoc in their midst, but they are beautiful."

Some neighbors have taken to feeding the birds, something a wildlife specialist says makes the peafowl dependent on the food source, and the birth numbers actually increase as compared to if they were left in the wild.

"Please don't feed them anymore," said wildlife specialist Mike Maxcy. "Allow us to remove the amount that is recommended by the city managers, and hopefully in the future it's something our residents can enjoy and not be annoyed by."

L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger drafted a motion that would create an ordinance that, "... prohibits the feeding of wildlife because it disrupts an animal's normal behavior pattern. The cities of Arcadia and Pasadena prohibit the feeding of peafowl in their municipal codes."

One neighbor who's lived in the community for 21 years says the peacocks were born in the area and deserve to stay there.

"I spend a lot of money just buying feed for them, and I don't mind it," said Maria Gunnell.

The plan, for now, is that animal control will humanely capture the peacocks and then relocate them to farms in San Diego or Bakersfield.

"We have very large cages that are made of chain link, so it's not abrasive to their feathers," said Jonathan Gonzalez a peafowl relocator. "We really care that they are moved as one piece under the least amount of stress possible."


With 13 percent sales growth in 2020, the pet medications market not only navigated COVID-19 pandemic challenges but posted its largest single-year growth rate in the past decade. That is according to a new report called Pet Medications in the U.S.  from market research firm Packaged Facts. Market sales were $10.8 billion in 2020, representing a compound annual growth rate of 9.2 percent for the recent five-year period, driven higher by the sales gains made during 2020.

Market prospects for pet medications are very positive, said David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts. “The market is being spurred by the recently expanded population of pet dogs and cats, a deepening pet parent focus on pet wellness, and increasing brick-and-mortar and online options for pet health care services and products,” he said.

As has been widely reported in the media, the pandemic-driven trend of Americans spending more time at home has fostered a pet boom, and country’s enlarged pet population will for years to come benefit the pet industry generally and the pet medications market in specific, according to Packaged Facts. The firm estimates that the overall percentage of U.S. households owning pets notched up from 54 percent in 2019 to 56.4 percent in 2020, with 44 percent of households now owning dogs and 25 percent owning cats.

Senior pets, moreover, represent a prime health care opportunity within the pet population, according to Packaged Facts. As of 2020, 55 percent of dog-owning households had pet dogs age 7 or over, up from 45 percent in 2014. Pets are living longer due to advances in veterinary care, and pet owner interest in pet wellness and nutrition is at an all-time high. Growing numbers of aging dogs and cats therefore need health care for weight management, obesity-associated conditions including diabetes and joint pain, immune response, heart health and cognitive support, in addition to anti-inflammation and pain management products.

At the same time, the priority on protecting health triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the associated shift to stay-at-home lifestyles, increased pet parent awareness of the health and well-being of their pets. Packaged Facts survey data show that 41 percent of owners are paying closer attention to their pet’s health and wellness because of COVID-19, and 14 percent have changed the pet healthcare products they buy, including to address COVID-related pet health concerns including anxiety/stress and immunity.

Despite challenges and setbacks early in 2020, the veterinary sector — accounting for 72 percent of overall prescription and over-the-counter pet medication sales, according to Packaged Facts — managed to end the year with higher-than-average growth. The veterinary sector was buoyed in part by the pet population surge, but as importantly by entrepreneurship and innovation in  leveraging  “concierge” pet drop-off/pick-up services and remote consultation options such as telemedicine.

Even so, the pandemic drove overall pet product sales further online, and pet medications were no exception, with 16 percent of retail sales occurring over the internet, according to the Packaged Facts report.


The Biden administration began legal action Wednesday to repeal a Trump-era rule that ended federal protections for hundreds of thousands of small streams, wetlands and other waterways, leaving them more vulnerable to pollution from development, industry and farms.

The rule — sometimes referred to as “waters of the United States” or WOTUS — narrowed the types of waterways that qualify for federal protection under the Clean Water Act. It was one of hundreds of rollbacks of environmental and public health regulations under President Donald Trump, who said the rules imposed unnecessary burdens on business.

Environmental groups and public health advocates said the rollback approved under Trump has allowed businesses to dump pollutants into unprotected waterways and fill in some wetlands, threatening public water supplies downstream and harming wildlife and habitat. The Trump-era rule resulted in a 25% reduction in the number of streams and wetlands that are afforded federal protection, said Jaime Pinkham, acting assistant Army secretary for civil works.

President Joe Biden ordered a review of the Trump rule as part of a broader executive action on climate change during his first week in office. Wednesday’s legal filing by the Justice Department begins that process as the EPA and Department of the Army formally request repeal of the Trump-era rule.

A review conducted by the Biden administration determined that the Trump rule is significantly reducing clean water protections, particularly in arid states such as New Mexico and Arizona, where a large number of streams now lack federal jurisdiction. At least 333 projects that would have required Clean Water Act permits no longer need federal approval, the agencies said.

The Trump-era rule removed protections from several public lakes, including Lake Keowee in South Carolina, a reservoir that provides drinking water for nearly 400,000 people, according to the Southern Environmental Law Center, an advocacy group. The rule also removed Army Corps of Engineers jurisdiction from about 400 acres of wetlands where a titanium mine is planned near Georgia’s Okefenokee Swamp, the group said.

Kevin Minoli, a former career lawyer at EPA, said the Biden team faces a similar dilemma to the Obama and Trump administrations. “Now, the question becomes, ‘Can they write a definition that will last beyond their time in office?’ ” he said.


A $9 billion oil pipeline that became a symbol of the rising political clout of climate change advocates and a flash point in U.S.-Canada relations was officially canceled on Wednesday.

Keystone XL, which was proposed in 2008 to bring oil from Canada's Western tar sands to U.S. refiners, was halted by owner TC Energy Corp (TRP.TO) after U.S. President Joe Biden this year revoked a key permit needed for a U.S. stretch of the 1,200-mile project.

Opponents of the line fought its construction for years, saying it was unnecessary and would hamper the U.S. transition to cleaner fuels. Its demise comes as other North American oil pipelines, including Dakota Access and Enbridge Line 3, face continued opposition from environmental groups.

"This is a landmark moment in the fight against the climate crisis," said Jared Margolis, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. "We're hopeful that the Biden administration will continue to shift this country in the right direction by opposing fossil fuel projects."

The Keystone XL pipeline was expected to carry 830,000 barrels per day of Alberta oil sands crude to Nebraska, but the project was delayed for the past 12 years due to opposition from U.S. landowners, Native American tribes and environmentalists.

A TC Energy pump station sits behind mounds of dirt from the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline as it lies idle near Oyen, Alberta, Canada February 1, 2021. REUTERS/Todd Korol

TC Energy owns the existing Keystone oil pipeline, which runs from Alberta to the U.S. oil storage hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, and to the U.S. Gulf, along with a power and storage business. It pledged to ensure a safe termination of the project.

"We remain disappointed and frustrated with the circumstances surrounding the Keystone XL project, including the cancellation of the presidential permit for the pipeline's border crossing," Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said in a statement.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump had approved a permit for the line in 2017, but it continued to face legal challenges that hampered construction. Biden had committed to canceling the project during his campaign and revoked the permit soon after taking office.

TC Energy swung to a loss in the first quarter, hit by C$2.2 billion ($1.81 billion) impairment charge related to the suspension of Keystone XL.

Its shares closed largely flat on the Toronto Stock Exchange.


Scientists have determined that a black substance that had settled near the shore line over several days at beaches in Maine, staining the feet of some beachgoers, is made up of millions of dead bugs.

Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection had been investigating the substance spotted at the shore in York, Wells and Ogunquit.

A department spokesman had said, via the York Parks and Recreation Department, that the state received "an inquiry from a concerned citizen in southern Maine who noticed 'a black residue' on the sand at a local beach."

Steve Dickson, a marine geologist with Maine Geological Survey, figured out what was going on with the help of two retired oceanographers who live nearby. One of them, Linda Stathoplos, took a sample from the beach and looked at it under her microscope.

"It was clearly little bugs," she said.

"This is the first time I've seen or heard of this in my 35 years," Dickson said, adding that he is still trying to determine what the bugs are, where they came from and why. But he does not expect it to be a regular occurrence.

NECN visited beaches in both Wells and York on Tuesday and found people who had both not seen the substance or had it affect them. People who had their feet stained described the black material as being similar to ink or oil.

Other people who reported having their feet stained said the substance did not come off immediately, even after scrubbing with soap and water.


More than 5,800 postal employees were attacked by dogs in the United States in 2020. From nips and bites to vicious attacks, aggressive dog behavior poses a serious threat to postal employees and the general public. To highlight the enormity of this serious issue, the U.S. Postal Service is providing the public with information on the do’s and don’ts of responsible dog ownership as part of its annual National Dog Bite Awareness Week public service campaign.

The campaign runs Saturday, June 12 through Friday, June 18. This year’s theme is “Be Aware: Any Dog Can Bite.”  Spread the news of the campaign by using the hashtag #dogbiteawareness. Dog bites are entirely preventable. One bite is one too many.

“Raising awareness about dog bite prevention and how to protect our letter carriers as we deliver the mail is paramount,” said USPS Acting Employee Safety and Health Awareness Manager Jamie Seavello. “Dogs are instinctive animals that may act to protect their turf and that why’s it’s important to inform the public about this campaign.”

Prevent the bite
Dog owners are responsible for controlling their dogs. The best way to keep everyone safe from dog bites is to recognize and promote responsible pet ownership. Most people know the approximate time their letter carrier arrives every day and having their dog secured as the carrier approaches their property for delivery will minimize any dog carrier interactions.

Pet owners should:

  • Remind their children not to take mail directly from a letter carrier as the dog may view the carrier as a threat.
  • When a letter carrier comes to the home, keep dogs:
    • Inside the house or behind a fence
    • Away from the door or in another room
    • On a leash

Also, Informed Delivery is a great tool for customers. It’s a free service that gives customers a digital preview of the mail and packages that are scheduled to be delivered so that they can take precautions and secure their dog when parcels are delivered to the door. Sign up at

Carrier and the Canine
Letter carriers are trained to observe an area where they know dogs may be present. They are taught to be alert for potentially dangerous conditions and to respect a dog’s territory.

Letter carriers know:

→ Don’t startle a dog.
→ Keep your eyes on the dog.
→ Never assume a dog won’t bite.
If entering a yard, make some noise or rattle a fence to alert the dog.
Never attempt to pet or feed a dog
Place your foot against an outward swinging door.

If a dog attacks, carriers are also trained to stand their ground and protect their body by placing something between them and the dog — such as their mail satchel — and use dog repellent, if necessary. Even though postal officials ask customers to control their dogs, unfortunately dog bites still happen, which may cause injuries to our carriers and costly medical expenses for dog owners. Please heed the above best practices to help stop dog bites and protect your letter carrier.

Kansas City, KS letter carrier James Michael Benson recognizes the importance of the safety training he’s received as a letter carrier to help protect himself from dog attacks while delivering the mail. However, even though he diligently follows dog bite safety protocols while on his route, he was recently attacked by a dog.

“I knocked on a customer’s door to pick up a package and as a young child answered, a dog came bursting out of the door and bit my forearm, knocking me to the ground “ said Benson. “I was in shock and struggling with the dog, when he lunged and bit me again on my face, under my ear.”

Benson stated the attack was so fast and forceful he couldn’t react to get his dog repellent and it was one of the most terrifying moments of his life. The attack happened in seconds before the dog was abruptly restrained by the owner.

Carriers do have tools to remind them about dogs on their routes. There is a dog alert feature tool on their handheld scanners to remind them of a possible dog hazard and they use dog warning cards as reminders when they sort their mail for their routes that a dog that may interfere with delivery.

Lastly, when a carrier feels unsafe, mail service could be interrupted, not only for the dog owner, but for the entire neighborhood. When mail service is interrupted, mail must be picked up at the Post Office. Service will not be restored until the dog is properly restrained.

2020 Dog Attack Rankings by City
More than 5,800 USPS employees were attacked by dogs in 2020. The top 25 rankings comprise 47 cities, as some cities reported the same number of attacks:

Office City










































































































































































Top 10 Dog Bite States:



































Undercover footage taken at Tiger Safari in Tuttle, Okla. shows a severely distraught 6-month-old Asian small-clawed otter being used for a “VIP Encounter.” The video taken on March 28, 2021, was provided to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the agency responsible for licensing and inspecting Tiger Safari. Having given the USDA time to look into the matter, the Humane Society of the United States is releasing the footage today to warn the public about the cruelty inflicted on animals at Tiger Safari as Americans are increasingly traveling and may be enticed to visit Tiger Safari and other roadside zoos.  

The otter was heard crying behind the scenes before being brought out to meet the public. He was carried, squirming and screaming, as the handler forced him to be petted and photographed by approximately 20 paying customers. The cries were so distressing that the handler attempted to muzzle the otter with her hand. Tiger Safari owner, Bill Meadows, as well as employees conducting the encounter, ignored the otter’s evident distress.

Otters are susceptible to COVID-19, yet Tiger Safari employees were not wearing masks and even discouraged visitors from wearing masks. Just days after the video was taken, the USDA recommended that encounters with species susceptible to COVID-19—including otters—be suspended. To the best of our knowledge, Tiger Safari continues to use the otter for public encounters. 

Otters are highly social, semi-aquatic animals. A staffer said that the otter was the only one at Tiger Safari and that the zoo did not have an otter exhibit. When pressed for more details by the investigator, the handler would only say “he’s got where he lives,” and walked away.

Other animals included in the VIP Encounter were a young kangaroo passed around in a bag, a ferret and a fennec fox. A handler also paraded lemurs through the group of patrons, including one who was carried upside down by his tail.     

The Humane Society of the United States showed the undercover video to two highly regarded animal experts. Animal behavior authority Jay Pratte and zoo curator Christie Eddie provided extensive comment and concluded: The [otter] is visibly struggling against the handler and can be observed pulling away from and trying to evade members of the audience. When the distress vocalizations do not diminish, that handler covers the otter’s face with her hand to attempt to muffle the sound. …The handler physically restrains the animal throughout the encounter, ignoring the clear behavioral expressions of distress.”

Lisa Wathne, manager of captive wildlife protection for the Humane Society of the United States, said: “This shabby operation shows no more concern for the otter currently being exploited than it did for the now-dead tiger cubs who were the subjects of our 2014 undercover investigation at the facility. Whether an otter cub or tiger cubs, Tiger Safari is an equal-opportunity abuser. Visitors to these horrific facilities should ask themselves, if a screaming, struggling otter being handled by apathetic workers is the public face of Tiger Safari, what goes on behind the scenes?”

Gillian Lyons, senior regulatory specialist for the Humane Society Legislative Fund, said: “We know that the USDA’s voluntary guidance for industry that COVID-susceptible animals not be used for public encounters is being ignored by numerous roadside zoos. This administration has promised to take animal welfare seriously and we hope they stick to that promise by citing Tiger Safari for the cruel handling of this young otter and by prohibiting public handling of all COVID-susceptible animals.”  



Among the various bodily fluids, the pale yellow by-product of the urinary system is underrated. However, it has proved to be of considerable importance throughout history. In ancient times, urine was used as a fertilizer, applied in tanneries, and added to smelling salts, medicines, and mouthwash.1,2 In fact, physicians once called it the “divine fluid,” owing to its numerous applications, not the least of which was evaluating the health status of individuals. Urinalysis can provide valuable insights into the pathology of various conditions.

Urine sampling: Why and how?

Urine can reveal the health status of the urinary system, particularly the kidneys. Strict hygienic measures should be maintained when collecting urine samples, and a fresh sample is always preferred. Urine samples can be collected by 3 methods:

  • Cystocentesis (preferred and most accurate method)
  • Catheterization
  • Midstream free flow

Urine samples should be evaluated within 30 minutes. If this is not possible, they may be stored at 4 °C (39 °F) for up to 24 hours. Refrigeration does not significantly alter the pH or specific gravity of urine but may result in the precipitation of crystals.3

Physical characteristics of urine

Color and transparency

The color of normal urine can range from pale yellow to amber, depending on the amount of urochrome present in the sample. Brown-colored urine may suggest hemoglobinuria, and urine that is faint pink in color may indicate congenital porphyria or urolithiasis.4

The transparency of urine in dogs and cats is affected by the presence of epithelial cells, crystals of calcium carbonate, and amorphous urates. However, in horses, cloudy urine may be normal owing to the presence of mucous membrane and epithelial cells. It would be useful to regularly observe or determine the normal color and transparency of a particular patient’s urine to detect any subsequent changes.

Odor and foam

Urine that has a sweet smell may indicate diabetes. In patients with ketonuria, the urine commonly smells of acetone.5

Specific gravity

The solute concentration in urine is determined by its specific gravity. A higher specific gravity indicates more concentrated urine. A lower specific gravity indicates more dilute urine, which may be associated with renal diseases.

Chemical characteristics of urine


Estimation of the pH is useful in determining the efficiency of the kidneys to concentrate hydrogen ions and thus maintain the acid-base balance of the body.


Bilirubin is a by-product of the normal degradation of red blood cells (RBCs).6 An increase of bilirubin in the urine can indicate liver disease or the abnormal destruction of RBCs. Bilirubinuria (the presence of bilirubin in urine) is sometimes observed in dogs and can be due to a low renal threshold. In addition, canine renal tubular cells are able to catabolize hemoglobin to unconjugated bilirubin and then secrete it into urine.7


Proteins in urine can be detected by the dipstick method, which primarily assesses albumin content based on a color change, using indicator dyes such as bromophenol blue. However, bromophenol blue poorly detects globulins such as the Bence Jones protein. The sulfosalicylic acid test is very efficient in detecting albumin and globulins such as the Bence Jones protein, even at low concentrations. However, the most accurate method of diagnosing proteinuria is by determining the protein-creatinine ratio.8


Ketone bodies, specifically acetone, acetoacetate, and β-hydroxybutyrate, are by-products of fatty acid metabolism. Study results have shown that the dipstick test can efficiently detect acetoacetate to a great extent and acetone to a lesser extent, but is unable to detect β-hydroxybutyrate.9

Microscopic examination

The presence of urinary sediments, casts, epithelial cells, hormones, and pus can be associated with clinical or subclinical renal disease, urinary tract infections, neoplasm, or pregnancy. Urine crystals, cells, and erythrocytes may disappear or disintegrate if the urine sample is kept for an extended period.

Cancer detection

The diagnosis of neoplastic conditions can be aided by urinalysis. Various cancers of the urogenital system, including the urinary bladder, prostate, and cervix, can be detected in the urine. Even the early stages of pancreatic cancer can be confirmed through urinalysis.


The ancient technique of uroscopy was common practice almost until the 19th century. In more modern times, it has been replaced by more accurate and less time-consuming methods. Although advancements have been made, the pace at which technology in this sphere develops may still be lagging. Advanced techniques, such as the polymerase chain reaction, are now being used to detect a wide variety of bacteria in the urine and can thereby facilitate faster diagnosis of urinary tract infections. For example, tuberculosis can be diagnosed using urine samples.

Urinalysis is safe and simple, and as the only requirement from the patient is a urine sample, discomfort or pain is minimized. Greater emphasis should be placed on producing miniaturized point-of-care urinalysis instruments. These instruments should be designed for convenient use by clinicians, field practitioners, and clients and owners. Clients could perform the test and seek appropriate advice from their veterinarian.

The processes of urinalysis have evolved considerably. Further improvements are anticipated in the near future, with progressive scientific and technological advancements


The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) recently released a digital End of Life Educational Toolkit to help veterinary professionals facilitate a well-planned, peaceful, and painless end-of-life transition for cats.

“Successful end of life feline care is about more than just medicine; it is about creating a peaceful transition for our patients and their owners,” says Wendy Simpson, DVM, AAFP task force chair, in an association release.

“The AAFP Task Force is committed to compassionate end of life care and is pleased to offer a new educational resource for veterinary professionals to help guide them through this practice,” she adds.

According to the release, the easy-to-read toolkit explains how to best broach this difficult and often emotional conversation with cat owners. It also addresses several tough questions to mind when working through challenging or unexpected events in euthanasia for both the owner and team.

Additionally, the online tool is designed to ensure the cat feels minimal fear, anxiety, and pain during the entire process and provides insight on each step of end-of-life care including the various areas of decision making, euthanasia experience, euthanasia process, final arrangements, frequently asked questions, and client resources.

“The End of Life Toolkit covers topics such as recommended sedatives and anesthetic protocols for cats and strategies for setting up the practice environment with comfort in mind,” says Simpson.


A cat in Chicago has survived unharmed after jumping from the fifth-floor window of an apartment building that was on fire.

Staff from the Chicago Fire Department were taping the firefighters as they worked to fight the blaze when a black feline appeared through smoke billowing out of a broken window.

The cat briefly tested the side of the building with its front paws. It jumped, bounced a little on the grass below. And miraculously walked away.

I would definitely not try this at home but cats have been known to survive jumps from higher rather than lower levels. Thankfully this one was able to survive the fire and the jump.


Fear Free, LLC—a platform that provides animal health professionals and pet lovers with knowledge and tools to improve the physical and emotional well-being of animals—announced it will be offering the Fear Free Veterinary Certification Program- Equine, designed to educate veterinary professionals about the benefits of using Fear Free concepts during barn and hospital visits.

"As a veterinarian who shares my life and home with horses, I know how important it is to address both their emotional and physical needs," says Marty Becker, DVM, Fear Free founder and CEO, in this organizational release. "A Fear Free approach to equine care will improve the lives of equine practitioners, caregivers, riders, and above all, horses."

The program encompasses 8 one-hour modules that were written and reviewed by leading equine medicine experts covering Fear Free concepts. Video clips and slides demonstrate how to safely examine equine patients using gentle techniques, performing non-threatening routine procedures, identifying signs of stress, hoof care, and beyond.

Additionally, the program provides equine veterinarians tips and tricks for helping owners train their horses to cooperate during medical care.

All professionals who complete this course will receive a total of 8 RACE-approved CE hours and gain invaluable insight on how to stop and ease fear, anxiety, and stress in their equine patients through education and inspiration.

To learn more about Fear Free and to sign up for the Fear Free Certification Program-Equine, go to


When Fabian Rojas took his parent’s 10-year old Maltese-Yorkie mix, Kiwi, to the All Pet Care Animal Clinic in Clearwater, the dog was fine. But by the end of the day, he was dead.

Kiwi was one of two dogs that died as a result of what happened at the clinic on Wednesday when a fire broke out outside and employees scrambled to get the pets out to safety.

One of the workers called Rojas. “They called me to go pick him up because there was a fire. Pick him up and take him to the ER,” said Rojas. “That’s all they told me.”

When the animal ER checked Kiwi out, doctors discovered the dog had suffered heatstroke. Rojas learned that in their haste to get the pets out of the clinic, employees may have placed Kiwi and another dog in a car that may or may not have had the air conditioning on.

“A family member was neglected,” said Rojas. “It could have been an accident.”

8 On Your Side reached out to All Pet Care Animal Clinic founder Dr. Gursager Singh, who says he could not say if the two dogs were in a car with functioning air conditioning. But he did say both pets that perished had pre-existing health conditions.

“Other team members, I think we should do better training to all of them,” said Dr. Gursager. “That all of them should know how to do CPR and the IV fluid.”

He added that he believes the clinic’s policies and procedures need to be looked at to prevent any future incidents.

Clearwater Fire Rescue posted pictures of firefighters treating the dogs at the scene. A representative with the agency told 8 on Your Side the department, “acknowledges that it treated the dogs not for smoke inhalation, but for heat exposure from being inside a hot car.”

Rojas has been taking his pets to the clinic for years. But now, he says, he won’t be going back.

“If you leave your child at a day care and something happens, not really their fault, but can you leave the rest of your kids there?” asked Rojas. “I don’t think you can.”


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