“Now Boarding All Dogs” – Delta To Allow Dogs In Main Cabin

Who wouldn’t want to travel with their dog? Nobody likes leaving them at kennels or with a house sitter, but do you really want to fly with them underneath the plane? It is bad enough when the airline loses your luggage, let alone your best friend.

Well, for Delta passengers, that concern is now a thing of the past. As of March 2016, Delta will no longer make passengers stow their pets as cargo, instead allowing them to bring their pet into the main cabin. This is a huge deal.


In the past 10 years, 14 stowed pets have gone “missing” on Delta flights, and a whopping 74 have turned up deceased. And that makes up only 25% of all airline canine fatalities.

Much of this is due to the fact that the cargo hold is not pressurized the same way as the passenger area of the plane. The air pressure drops substantially at such high altitudes, making it difficult for anything to breath down there. That is why brachycephalic (or snub-nosed like a boxer) dogs are not allowed to fly with most commercial airlines, as they are at greater risk for suffocation.

That said, Delta will still have certain restrictions on large dogs in the cabin. They will still be able to travel via Delta Cargo, which the airline assures is a safer alternative for both the dog and other passengers.

“Pets that are transported via Delta Cargo are monitored closely by customer service teams during their travel,” a representative at Delta said. “While at airports, pets are handled in temperature-controlled holding areas and vans. Also, Delta Cargo enlists professional kenneling services if overnight stays are required.”


Since the program has not started yet, any assessment of its effectiveness is purely speculation. However, one can rightly assume that this program will lead to a drop in canine fatalities on Delta flights, as well as an increase in dogs traveling with their families.

We hope that this program works as well in practice as we believe it will in theory, and becomes a general practice for airlines around the globe.

If you have an opinion on flying with dogs, please let us know in the comments below.

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Hero Police Dog Killed by Bombers in Paris Attacks

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. This week, a hero presented himself in the form of a brave parisian police dog name Diesel.

Diesel, a bomb sniffing dog for the Paris Police Department, was killed during the siege on an apartment believed to be harboring the terrorists responsible. Anyone who has been online in the past week is aware that social media has experienced an outpouring of sympathy, first for the families who suffered losses during these devastating attacks, but now also for Diesel.  

Diesel was a seven-year-old Belgian Malinois who charged headlong into the suspect apartment building to assess the situation. And while he was bravely serving his country, the terrorists inside the building took his life, thus starting what ended up being a seven-hour firefight in Saint-Denis.

Policemen and women at the scene have been quoted as saying that Diesel was “indispensable” to their operations on that day, and that he “died defending our colours.” Clearly, this police dog embodied all the characteristics a police dog should – bravery in the face of danger, a keen sense of duty, and an unflappable will.

After Diesel’s death, people on Twitter and Facebook began to show their support for the brave dog, posting pictures of their own dogs and expressing their sorrows under the hashtag #JeSuisUnChien.

The hashtag #JeSuisUnChien, meaning “I am a dog,” has since gone viral in support of this dog’s bravery. Clearly, the hashtag is being a little tongue-in-cheek, as it is a spin on the #JuSuisCharlie hashtag that went viral after the attacks on Charlie Hebdo in January. Even still, the fact that in the midst of such awful news, the human collective can band together to champion a hero shows that our moral compass is still reading true north.

And the fact that the one of the heroes in question happens to be a dog should come as no surprise. The love of a pet transcends language and culture. They truly are man’s best friend.



This 5-Year-Old’s Reaction To Finding His Lost Cat Is Amazing

When Ronnie Cockroft woke up last May to discover that his beloved cat Phoenix was nowhere to be found, he was crushed. Ronnie and the ginger cat had shared a special bond, one his mother would describe as being best friends.

Like any family would, the Cockrofts searched high and low for their missing kitty. Slowly, days turned to weeks, weeks into months, and before long their cherished cat had been missing for over a year.

Photo via The Mirror

Photo via The Mirror

As happens with any fruitless search for a lost pet, once enough time had past the Cockrofts finally came to terms with the tragedy and tried to move on. After waiting a respectable 18 months before rushing out to get a new cat, they finally felt it time to get Ronnie a new feline companion.

The local Cats Protection charity paired the family with a terrific young cat named Orlando, and they were all but ready to adopt their new cat on the day they arrived to pick him up. However, it would appear that fate had other plans.

On his way through the facility, walking past rows of homeless cats awaiting their forever home, little Ronnie was taken aback when he saw a face he thought was out of his life forever. It was Phoenix.

Ronnie and Phoenix Reunion

“We went to the Cats Protection and saw Orlando and went back a week later to pick him up and that is when we spotted Phoenix in the next door enclosure,” said Michelle Humber, Ronnie’s mother. “It was amazing and the children were so pleased. Ronnie saw him straight away and was screaming and cheering with excitement.”

Photo via The Mirror

Photo via The Mirror


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“No More Military Dogs Left Overseas” Says New Law

We have all seen the videos of military dogs being reunited with the soldiers they were partnered with during their tours. These videos exemplify the importance of the bond these pairs share. In case you forgot, here is a quick reminder.

However, for the longest time the military failed to recognize the importance of these relationships. In fact, the military dogs were largely forgotten all together. Up until very recently, once a foreign conflict ended, the dogs were just left in the country they served in.

The rule was, if their job was finished and they were retired overseas, the dogs were immediately switched from being military personnel to civilians. This meant that they were no longer eligible to be transported home via military vehicles, making it extremely difficult for them to return home.

Send Our Dogs Home

Thanks to a bill that recently made its way through Senate and Congress, dogs that serve in our armed forces will be ensured the right to return back to American soil after their career is over. What’s more, this bill also guarantees that the soldiers who handled these military dogs get first chance at adoption when they arrive back in the U.S.

And while this is a tremendous step forward for our dogs in the military, it is also incredibly important for the men and women who handled these dogs. Unlike the man in the video above, oftentimes soldiers would be deprived a life alongside the canine that kept them safe during their time at war. That can be heartbreaking for both the soldier and the dog.

Now, thanks to this legislation, these soldiers cannot be refused that right.

The bill still needs to be signed by President Obama, but after making it’s way through the Senate and the House with flying colors, this new law is all but assured.

Our thanks go out to Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Congressman Frank LoBiando (R-NJ) for introducing this bill and championing its cause. Soon, every dog that puts their life on the line to protect our soldiers will be guaranteed the ability to return home, and to return to a home full of people eternally grateful for their service.

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Guide Dog Saves Handler by Leaping In Front Of Bus – And Lives!

This past July, one guide dog proved just how dedicated he was to keeping his handlers safe. What was supposed to be a routine walk around the neighborhood quickly took a turn for the worse when a school minibus came wheeling around a corner without looking. Had Figo not been there, chances are a one Audrey Stone would no longer be with us.

So how did Figo save his handler from getting bowled over by this freewheeling bus?

He jumped in front of it himself.

One Dog’s Unimaginable Heroism

Photo Courtesy of Lohud

Photo Courtesy of Lohud

“Basically, he would have died for me, doing what he did,” Stone told reporters after the incident.

Stone is legally blind and requires a service dog to get around. Figo had filled that void for over six years, and in that time an incredibly close bond had been formed. So it goes without saying that, after Figo’s heroic act, Stone was inconsolable for fear that she had lost her best friend.

Even though Figo’s heroic deed meant he took the brunt of the force from the collision, Stone did not walk away unscathed. That said, had it not been for Figo, she would likely be in significantly worse shape, or possibly even dead.

Since both Audrey and Figo left that day pretty banged up, both were put into intensive care followed by months of physical therapy.

The Touching Reunion


Photo Courtesy of CBSNews.com

Now, almost 5 months after the incident, the pair are finally being reunited. “You’re home – finally!” exclaimed Stone upon seeing her heroic canine again.

What makes this happy ending even sweeter is the fact that, not only does Figo get to go home to the woman he risked his life to protect, but his act of heroism is also being rewarded by the ASPCA who have deemed him their Dog of the Year.

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Split Second Decision Saves Puppies from Being Demolished

Timing is crucial. Oftentimes, the difference between life and death comes down to a few seconds and a snap decision. Earlier this week, a split second observation made by a demolition crew ended up saving the lives of a litter of puppies.

The Story

It started out like any other day for this demolition crew – they pulled up to the abandoned house with their heavy machinery and were all set to start smashing the condemned residence to smithereens. All of a sudden – literally minutes before they would have started tearing things down – one of the workers heard tiny yips and whimpers coming from inside the home.

They put a hold on tearing down the house and immediately contacted the Michigan Humane Society. They promptly sent down a team of rescuers to investigate the source of the distressed noises. Low and behold, upon canvassing the house, they discovered a litter of terrified puppies hidden underneath a dresser and inside a closet in the basement.

Dog-Demolition-1As for a mother dog, there was no sign. It looked like these puppies had spent their entire lives alone in this dank abandoned basement. As such, when the rescuers first arrived, the puppies were a bit wary of human contact.Dog-Demolition-2As time went on, the puppies quickly warmed up to the rescuers and are now all well adjusted, healthy, and happy pups.

Dog-Demolition-4Watch the Rescue

How these puppies ended up in this derelict basement is still unknown, as well as the whereabouts of their mother. But one thing is certain – had the demolition crew been even marginally less concerned about the canvassing the home, or had the machinery drowned out the faint cries of the puppies, this story would have a much more morbid ending.

Luckily, everything worked out perfectly. The crew noticed the whimpering, alerted a nearby shelter, got these puppies the care they needed, and then tore down the broken down hovel that would have otherwise become their tomb.

Dog-Demolition-6If there is any lesson in here, it is to be aware of your surroundings and to act quickly when you sense something is amiss, especially when it concerns a life. Our thanks go out to everyone at the Michigan Humane Society and the members of the demolition crew that put their job on hold to ensure that these abandoned dogs were safely removed from the premises.

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Pregnant Dog Rescued After Two Days Buried Under Sidewalk

When your city approves much needed renovations to your neighborhood, it is usually cause for celebration. However, in Russia this week, one sidewalk repair ended up causing far more trouble than it was worth.

After filling in a sinkhole and repaving the sidewalk, a family who lived next to the old sinkhole began to hear muffled crying coming from the exact spot where the renovations were done. Eventually, more and more people in the area were talking about the whimpers coming from underground. After two days had gone by, the family contacted the city, but was told nothing could be done.

So they took the job into their own hands, pulling up all of the freshly laid brick and digging out all the dirt to reveal the old sinkhole. What they uncovered was a sight that would break your heart – a dog was buried underneath the sidewalk.

Dog Buried Under Sidewalk Rescued

After some coaxing, the dog finally came out from her hidey-hole and it was then that the townspeople finally felt the true magnitude of this rescue. Not only did they save a dog, but they saved a pregnant dog.

How the poor dog, now named ‘Squirrel,’ came to be under the sidewalk is still unknown. She was obviously inside the sinkhole when the construction crew paved over it, but what is not known is whether or not the crew were aware of her being down there or not. Chances are she was nervous by all the noise and tucked herself away in an inopportune hiding place. However, the crew has not made any statement, so there is a possibility that it was purely negligence on their part.

Now days after the fact, Squirrel is on the mend from her traumatic experience. However, her litter was lost as a result of her two days under the sidewalk. Her medical expenses were paid for by donations and now that she is all better, she will soon be adopted out to a loving home.

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Police Sergeant Harbors Neighborhood “Cat Burglar”

In a story that seems almost too rich to be true, a Portland police sergeant has been knowingly harboring a master thief for years – a striped cat named Tigger.


The face of a criminal mastermind

Sgt. Dave Kempas first started to notice the cat burglary four years ago. He would wake up in the morning and what would be staring him in the face? A mystery hat or a stray glove sitting on the floor. But how did they get there?

Well, being the dedicated cop that he is, Sgt. Kempas decided to launch a full investigation into the mystery items that kept cropping up in his house night after night. He had a hunch that the thefts were committed by one of his four legged friends, but Kempas is a good cop and good cops don’t jump to conclusions over a hunch.

Sgt. Kempas set up some night vision cameras around his house in hopes of catching the culprit red pawed. And it worked!

Within a few nights, he had video evidence of his stripy little friend sneaking back into his yard with a mouthful of stolen items. All sorts of items were being lifted from neighboring homes, only to end up on Kempas’ floor.


Like underpants

Typically, if Sgt. Kempas were to discover a serial burglar, they would end up handcuffed in the back of a squad car. However, this situation is different. First of all,  they don’t make handcuffs small enough. Secondly, nobody affected by this cat’s crime spree is going to press charges. To most, the thought of a cat sneaking off into the dark with on of their gym socks is well worth the price.

However, occasionally Tigger will bring home something a little more befitting his criminal background.

“(Tigger) did bring back a bag of weed one time. It was small, a bud really all it was. I thought I could get him with a PCS (possession of a controlled substance) charge.” said Sgt. Kempas, showing that he is a truly good sport about his cats proclivity for crime.

Rather than bust his cat and have him perform community service, Kempas thought that it would make more sense to advertise his cat’s theft with a Facebook page. Now known as Kleptokitty, Tigger has taken the internet by swarm.

And, in case you were wondering what was happening with all the items that Tigger steals, Sgt. Kempas often washes the contraband clothing and donates it to Goodwill. That is, unless it is a lone sock or glove. Then it goes straight in the garbage – until Tigger fishes it back out and leaves it on the floor…

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Strange Wires Found in Pedigree Dog Food, Owners Furious

Earlier this week, pet parents looking to scoop their dog a bowl of breakfast were shocked to find visible fibers – or wires – sticking out of their pet’s food. Not wanting to feed their precious pups something that could carve up their insides, many pet parents took to the message boards and social media to express their outrage.

Some have even reported the odd wires as being the cause for their dog’s untimely death.

Pedigree has gone on record stating that these mysterious strands jutting out from their kibble are nothing more than meat bi-products, like “naturally occurring meat fibers,” bone meal, or hair. However – and this has not been verified – there has been at least one instance of a person claiming that, when exposed to a magnet, the fiber stuck.

Many suspect that these odd wires are a result of Pedigree’s new ‘meatier’ formula. While that can neither be confirmed nor denied, the fact remains that Pedigree’s kibble has received numerous reports of being riddled with unknown strands.


“What the heck is this?”

While the overriding consensus is that these fibers are, in fact, a bi-product of the meat, the truth remains that these fibers are indicative of the quality of meat that Pedigree is using in their food.

“It is everything left over after the meat has been removed from the animal. It is the bone, the marrow, the skin, hair, and cartilage ground up,” says Dr. Brophy, a veterinarian at Rossmoyne Animal Emergency Trauma Center in Mechanicsburg.

And while historically these leftover scraps have been deemed fine for pets to ingest, the question is whether you are comfortable feeding this stuff to your pet. According to Pedigree, the fibers – while visually disturbing – are perfectly fine to eat.

So, while there is no recall being issued as a result of the mystery wires, whether or not you feed these prickly kibble bits to your pet is entirely a judgment call.

If you would rather not feed your pet food with strings hanging out of it, these are a few brands you might consider.

And, as always, if you notice anything strange as a result of something your dog ate, please contact your vet immediately.




46 Dogs Nearly “Rescued” to Death – Know Your Shelter

It is hard to believe that you might not be able to trust an animal rescue organization to care for the animals in their charge, but when a shelter in Virginia is caught keeping 46 dogs locked in cramped cages inside a hot barn, it is easy to become disillusioned.

What Happened

Last Saturday (7/25/15), the Oldies but Goodies Cocker Spaniel Rescue was notified about a nearby barn that was housing dozens of dogs, keeping them in abhorrent conditions. When they reached the barn in question, the conditions were worse than they could have imagined.


They threw the barn doors open, and were immediately met with a wall of hot, stale air and an odor that could choke a canary. The room was packed with crates, each containing a dog that was “rescued” by the Heart to Heart Rescue. These dogs were visibly distressed, panting furiously and wallowing in their own filth.

The volunteers at the OBG Cocker Spaniel Rescue quickly leapt into action, giving these 46 neglected dogs some much needed water and exercise once they were brought back to their more canine-friendly facilities. Now calling this massive rescueFreedom 46,” the OGB is looking for outside help to ensure that these dogs are going to be adequately cared for.

Freedom 46 and You

The wonderful people at Oldies but Goodies Cocker Spaniel Rescue were more than willing to take up the mantel for these 46 dogs in need, wanting to provide these disregarded dogs with adequate living conditions. However, taking in nearly 50 dogs can be seriously draining on a shelter’s resources.


That is where you come in. The Oldies but Goodies Cocker Spaniel Rescue is asking for your help. Please visit this page to see how you can sign up to foster one of these dogs in need, or make a monetary contribution.

Currently, the OBG is still holding on to 39 of the rescued dogs, having identified and returned 7 of the dogs taken in. With a little bit of help, all these remaining dogs can be fostered and eventually adopted. Please help.

Know Your Shelter

It can be easy to assume that any organization that takes in animals off the streets has their heart in the right place. But then you come across an shelter like Heart to Heart Rescue and see that, just like in many other facets of life, there is always the exception that proves the rule. To be fair, this is not a condemnation of the entire organization. The rescued dogs were found at the home of two of the board members, but many of the volunteers and people associated with H2H were completely unaware that this was happening.

However, these events still prove that you need to make sure you know exactly who you are working with before you lend your support. Before returning a lost pet to a shelter, adopting from one, or making a donation, these are some questions to ask.

  1. Where are the pets you rescue kept? If on premises, can I take a tour of the facility?
  2. How often are the pets getting human attention?
  3. Are you socializing the pets you rescue (i.e., letting them play with one another, behavior training)?
  4. How large is your facility and how many rescue pets do you have?
  5. Do you have a vet on staff?

PetPlus + (Your Shelter)

PetPlus is working with amazing shelters all across America with the hopes of increasing adoption rates and taking some of the burden off the shelters themselves. So if you know of a shelter that is doing great work, we would love to know about it! Share them with us here and we will reach out to them.