Can Australia Outlaw Outdoor Cats?

The debate about having an indoor or outdoor cat has been raging between cat parents for years. Some feel that staying out and carousing are essential to a cat’s very nature. Others see a cat’s life outside as one fraught with peril and consider being outdoors an unnecessary risk. While this difference in opinion is going to keep spawning discussions about fair and responsible cat parenting, in Australia, the discussion may only be happening in theory alone.

This is because, if new legislation is passed, Australia may officially ban outdoor cats by placing a “24-hour curfew” on them.

Indoor Cats Only

Many may see this as a drive to improve the quality (and duration) of cats’ lives, what with indoor cats living 2+ times longer (on average) than their outdoor counterparts. However, the real impetus for this push is because outdoor house cats (a species not native to Australia) are decimating the populations of local wildlife.

One estimate believes that the 20-some million cats roaming around Australia are responsible for the deaths of 75 million native animals every day.

This move to keep cats indoors is designed to help separate these effective, non-native predators from the native, defenseless prey animals whose populations are being radically depleted.

What’s more, Australia won’t stop with just putting all cats on permanent house arrest. They are also working on legislation to make it legal to drastically cull the feral cat population. In other words, Australia wants to launch an all-out war on their feral cats, making it legal to kill them in order to control their numbers.

Preservation or Genocide?

Here is where we get into an ethical grey area. Clearly, this sounds like a feline genocide, and as a society that loves and cares for cats, this is hard to hear, let alone support. However, it is not like Australia is just doing this to be cruel. These feral cats, if left to their own devices, would keep increasing in population, while wiping out the populations of indigenous, endangered species like the bandicoot, bilby, bettong, and numbat. Scientists already posit that cats have been responsible for 28 of the 29 known native mammal extinctions in the past two hundred years. So, their methods may seem deplorable, but it is hard to ignore the fact that they are doing it for, what seems like, a fairly legitimate reason.

Gregory Andrews, Australia’s threatened-species commissioner put it best “It’s very important to emphasize, too, that we don’t hate cats. We just can’t tolerate the damage that they’re doing anymore to our wildlife.”

And that is likely true. However, there has to be a better solution than killing millions of cats. One such solution could be a large scale trap/neuter/release program, preventing these cats from reproducing. That may not be a viable option, though.

What do you think? Is Australia out of line imposing all these new laws on cats, or are they just looking out for little, endangered creatures that are at risk of being wiped out? Let us know in the comments.




One Viral Photo Saved Two Dogs from Death Row

A picture is worth a thousand words, and the image above is proof of that.

The dogs in the photo are Kala and Keira – two bonded dogs at a county shelter in Atlanta. The pair were also next on the list to be put down – the day after that picture was taken, in fact. Finding a home for a bonded pair is hard enough, but the idea of getting them adopted within 24 hours seemed downright impossible.

But thanks to the wide network of wonderful people on the internet (like yourself!), anything is possible. A volunteer group called Angels Among Us heard about Kala and Keira’s story and took up the mantle, rushing over to the shelter to take photos and plead to their audience to help them find a home for these loving dogs.

The Internet to the Rescue!

Never did they imagine that these inseparable dogs would take such a touching photo. Seeing the way these two dogs cared for each other touched the hearts of thousands, causing the image to go instantly viral.

The photo was posted and almost immediately received over 9,000 shares.

With such a high volume of traffic, things were beginning to look up for Kala and Keira. And within a few hours, a local Atlantean decided then and there that Kala and Keira were going home with him.

Here is a photo of the loving family.

And while their story is far from the norm, it just goes to show that with enough people caring at once, we can take the impossible and put it within reach. Heaven knows Kala and Keira are grateful for all the compassion they received, and there are many more dogs out there for us to help into a home.

If you would like to meet Kala or Keira, contact Angels Among Us and they will put you in touch with the family that is fostering them. Please, help these wonderful dogs find their forever home.

Photo credit to Malena Evans

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A Dog That Can Read?! Watch This Video and See

Every day, dogs are breaking down barriers and proving themselves more intelligent than previously thought. We have all seen the videos of dogs that perform a series of incredibly complex commands.

No? Well, check it out here. It’s pretty amazing.

Jumpy – The World’s Most Intelligent Dog

Acrobatics aside, the fact that Jumpy is able to understand all those disparate commands, let alone perform them, is positively unbelievable. It is this level of training that has made it possible to entrust dogs with crucial responsibilities like being rescue dogs, service dogs, military dogs, or seeing eye dogs.

All that considered, are you ready to see the next level of canine intelligence?

Recently, trainers were able to get Jordan the black lab to recognize and respond to two different words – “sit” and “down.”

Jordan Can Read

Yes, it’s only two words – “sit” and “down,” so it isn’t like Jordan is going to be signing up for a library card anytime soon, but it is a fairly tremendous stride for finding ways to communicate with dogs.

Follow me here – if a dog is capable of recognizing simple words, and the difference in meaning between them, it stands to reason that a well trained dog may soon be able to convey their wants and needs in a way we can actually understand.

Point being, once more dogs are taught to read simple words, and once a device is created that dogs can use, it won’t be long before we are getting texts or emails from our dogs saying things like “food” or “walk.”

Boy, won’t that get old fast?





Incredible Video of Sick Stray Nursed Back to Full Health

For many dogs, life is a bitter toil to stay alive. This is especially true in places like India where stray dogs roam in packs, vying for precious resources like food, water, and shelter. It is a brutal competition that, for many, is all they ever know.

But that is not the case for all these dogs. Organizations like Animal Aid Unlimited work diligently to provide care for dogs in need, giving these helpless hounds a second chance at a life full of love and companionship.

One such story comes to us in the form of a dog, once mange-ridden and apprehensive of humans, who was able to recover from a lifetime of neglect thanks to the people at AAU.


Found on the streets, it was clear that this dog was soon going to succumb to the ravages of mange and likely die. Acting fast, they apprehended the dog, taking him back to their facility to administer care. Baths, ointment, medication, and tons of TLC were all on the docket for this scared little pup.


And while the transformation did not happen overnight, within six weeks, the once reclusive pooch was now brimming with life – playing with other rescued dogs and excitedly lapping up the affections of his caregivers.


Watch the unbelievable transformation for yourself. [WARNING:Contains graphic images]

Amazing Transformation of Rescued Street Dog Dying from Mange

Sadly, this is just one dog among thousands that require this kind of care. To lend your support, donate to the AAU here and help them continue their good work.



Brave Bulldog Puppy Missing Hind Quarters

If you took a quick look at little Bonsai, he would appear to be a regular Bulldog puppy, except he always appears to be sitting down.

It wouldn’t take long, however, before you noticed that he is not sitting, but rather that halfway down his back, everything is missing.

As you can see in the picture, Bonsai is an adorable puppy, but just from the waist up. Bonsai was born with a bottom half, but it was removed because his spinal column didn’t reach that far down, thus rendering his legs, tail, and everything below his stomach unusable.

And if the malformed spinal column wasn’t enough, Bonsai was also born with Swimmer’s Syndrome – a condition that causes his front legs to splay out , making mobility even more of a challenge – on top on not having back legs.

But does any of this effect Bonsai’s temperament? See for yourself!

Bonsai ~ Half a Bulldog, Twice the Love

This video was taken before Bonsai went in for surgery. In it you can see the extent to which his hind quarters are underdeveloped.

Even though the surgical procedure is finished, Bonsai still has a tough road ahead of him, with years of physical therapy and training to look forward to. But that won’t keep him from having the same upbeat personality. And, thanks to the wonderful people at Friends of Emma, Bonsai is sure to receive some top-notch care.


Bonsai going for a swim!

To lend your support to Bonsai and all the people caring for him, please visit his YouCaring page and make a donation.




Amazing Rescue Video of Dog Saving Baby Dolphin

Off the coast of Wales earlier this month, a tiny pooch named Leia rushed to the aid of a baby dolphin that had beached himself on the rocky shore.

Barking frantically while her handler was taking pictures of the beach, Leia alerted him to the porpoise in need – an act that likely saved his life. “I was taking photos of the fantastic scenery when I heard my dog barking at me from further down the beach…clearly she had found something!”

Once he realized that the grey lump Leia was barking over was not a rock, but instead a baby dolphin, he leapt into action. With the camera still rolling in his one hand, he coaxed the little guy back into the water and sent him on his merry way. You can watch the entire miraculous rescue here.

Dog Saves Baby Dolphin on Criccieth Beach

“[I] stayed at the site for [a] while after to make sure he didn’t come back. [I] spoke to the coastguard once I had signal and they reported it to the science team…The little guy was lucky as there was nobody around for miles,” said the anonymous cameraman/rescuer in a post on YouTube.

The pair waited a while to make sure the newly rescued baby dolphin, now nicknamed “Buddy,” didn’t return for another round of catch and release. Once it was clear that Buddy was gone, they left the beach with a great sense of accomplishment – and one heck of a rescue video!

And while it was his hands that actually guided the tiny dolphin back into the sea, if it weren’t for Leia’s keen nose and piercing bark, the odds that he would have noticed the grey dolphin against all the similarly grey rocks is highly unlikely. Or, as he puts it “if it wasn’t for my dog barking at me I would have missed him too.”

Let’s all hope that Leia got a heaping handful of treats for being such a hero!

Interested in PetPlus? Why not try it for two weeks free!




A Cat With Six Legs?! See For Yourself – Photos Inside

There are many different kinds of cats in the world, each with their own unique set of features. Persians have flat faces, while a Cornish Rex has wavy fur and bat-like ears. Other breeds have big, bushy tails, while others, like the Manx, have nothing but a little nubbin atop their bum.

But have you ever heard of a cat with six legs?


Meet Pauly, the six-legged feline of Edmonton Canada. Pauly is believed to be about 7 years old, but was only gained notoriety as of this April. Living off the kindness of strangers, Pauly has been looking after himself in large part, and doing so with great success. That is, until residents noticed the furry hexapod struggling to move about. It was then that local residents contacted Little Cats Lost, an organization that deals with stray cats in the area.


Once safely taken in off the streets, Pauly was given over to Dr. Tamer Mahmoud, veterinarian at Edmonton’s Oxford Animal Hospital. Mahmoud happily took in Pauly, as it was a chance to aide a cat suffering from a condition that many vets never see in their lifetime. “This case is very rare; it’s most likely because two kittens were inside the uterus and one kitten absorbed the other one. That’s why this cat has six legs,” said Mahmoun.


And, in Mahmoun’s professional opinion, if medical action is not taken soon, Pauly would likely not live much longer. “It’s affecting his quality of life.”

And, in terms of medical maladies, the vestigial legs are just the beginning – Pauly also suffers from hip dysplasia as well as an ascended testicle.

The estimated cost of all Pauly’s operations is about $2,000. Sadly, as a stray cat, Pauly does not have that kind of money just lying around; which is why Martie Johnston has set up an online fundraiser to collect donations for Pauly’s surgery. If you wish to donate, all the proceeds go to Little Cats Lost in order to help improve Pauly’s quality of life and hopefully help find him his forever home.

If you know of a pet that needs routine medical attention or a big operation, tell them about PetPlus. With substantial discounts on thousands of vets across the country, as well as wholesale prices on medication, and 24/7 access to licensed pet professionals with our Ask-A-Vet service, PetPlus is your new multi-tool of pet wellness.


Tennessee Legalizes Breaking Windows to Free Dogs in Hot Cars

Imagine you are walking through a parking lot on a sweltering summer day, but before you’re able to step into the refreshing air conditioning awaiting you in the store, you hear the exasperated yelps of a dog coming from the van just up ahead.

As you walk over, you see the panting face of a Bulldog, her dry tongue furiously attempting to expel as much heat as her tired body will allow.


What do you do?

Do you call the police? Do you try to flag down a security guard? A situation like this tends to require immediate action. Did you know that on an 85 degree day, it takes just 10 minutes for the interior of a car to reach 104 degrees? Imagine what another 10 minutes could do…


Knowing that, you might want to reach for the nearest heavy implement and free that pooch yourself.


But won’t you get in trouble for smashing up someone’s van?

Well, if you live in Tennessee, this is no longer a concern.

New legislation has been passed that decriminalized the defacement of a car so long as you are doing it to free a dog from the unbearable heat. The law is an add on to the existing Good Samaritan law, which previously only included the right to free a child from a hot car. Now it applies to dogs as well. Other states have similar penalties for leaving your dog unattended in a car, but the legality of damaging someone else’s property to free the dog is not as concrete.

That said, the dangers of leaving your dog in a hot car cannot be overstated. Dogs passing out – or dying – from heat exhaustion is a serious summertime threat in general, but leaving them to suffer the greenhouse effect of a sealed up car on a hot day is a surefire way to get there.

Don’t think so? Watch as Dr. Ernie Ward, a veterinarian, sits in his car for 30 minutes – with the windows cracked! It still gets broiling hot in there.

So if you are in Nashville and happen upon a dog stuck in a hot car, smash away – just be careful not to get cut up!


Pit Bull Rescued with Chain Embedded in Neck (GRAPHIC)

Earlier this week, a stray dog was found walking the streets of Mason, Tennessee. Picked up by a local family, what they saw when they approached the calm, but apprehensive dog was enough to bring a tear to your eye. This poor, gentle, loving creature was in an immense amount of pain from a chain around his neck that was embedded so deep that vets said it was closing in on his spinal cord.

Knowing what resources were in the area, the family had the dog brought over to the Tipton County Animal Shelter. Unfortunately, shelters like Tipton cannot always give dogs with severe injuries the level of care they require. However, in a lucky turn of events, a representative from the Hearts of Gold Pit Rescue in Memphis got wind of this dog in need and swooped in to save the day.

Due to this dog’s elevated need for immediate care, the good people at Hearts of Gold rushed him over to the Animal Emergency Center in Memphis where they took him straight into the operating room to have the embedded chain removed.

Here are some images of the damage done to this poor dog’s neck.

Warning! Graphic Content:


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Though it took a lot of precision to carefully remove the collar without doing excessive damage to the dog’s already mangled neck, the operation was a success. Now recovering at a local veterinary hospital, Mason (named for the town he was picked up in) is undergoing daily hydrotherapy, as well as taking a slew of antibiotics to ward off infection and pain relievers (for obvious reasons).

And that is not all. What makes Mason’s story truly incredible is his unshakeable temperament. Clearly the victim of abuse at the hands of a terrible person, did Mason ever lose faith in people or show any sort of aggression towards his rescuers? No.


Just look at that face!

In fact, Mason was so happy to see people and interact with them that, despite the excruciating pain he must have been suffering, even on the operating table he was wagging his tail.

Just some more proof that all dogs are man’s best friend and that it is up to us to live up to their standard. A wise man once said “a perfect world is one where every person is actually as good as their dog thinks they are.” Well, Mason has certainly seen some of the worst of humanity and managed to come out untainted. It is our job to prove that we are worthy of such unconditional love and trust.

If you live in the greater Memphis area and are looking for an amazing dog to take home, contact the good people at the Hearts of Gold Pit Rescue and arrange a time to meet with Mason or any of the other special dogs in their care.

And to the wonderful family that adopts Mason, they will receive a lifetime of free PetPlus – a membership program that gives you wholesale pricing on all the things you need to keep your pet healthy (like antibiotics, pain meds, heartworm treatment, and more). To learn more about PetPlus, check out our site.


Johnny Depp Faces 10 Years in Prison for Dog Smuggling

Johnny Depp has gotten himself into some sticky situations upon the silver screen, from fighting sea monsters in The Pirates of the Caribbean to searching for acceptance as a monster in Edward Scissorhands. However, Depp’s strangest battle to date also happens to be a real one – facing 10 years in prison or $265,000 fine for dog smuggling.

Once Upon a Time in Australia

While working down under on the newest installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Depp decided to bring along his two Yorkies, Pistol and Boo, without properly declaring them to the Australian government – a crime which they take very seriously.

The dogs were discovered after a pair of Aussie dog groomers couldn’t resist the opportunity to post pictures to Facebook of them mugging with the celebrity dogs.


Via Facebook: happydogzmaudsland

The government was made aware of Depp’s digression after seeing the viral grooming photos. Customs had checked his plane when he landed in Australia and saw no signs of dogs, meaning they were hidden from the government to avoid the declaration and quarantining process.

Why You Need to Declare

For islands like Australia that are protected on all sides from other countries, it is not out of reach to completely eradicate a disease like rabies. In fact, the CDC has officially declared Australia a rabies free jurisdiction. And they would like to keep it that way.

Pistol and Boo Via

All it takes is one foreign animal with rabies to breach their shores and the whole thing is shot to heck. That is why Australia and other island nations (like Hawaii) have incredibly rigorous tests that need to be done before an outside animal is allowed to roam free on their protected soil.

Animals looking to go abroad to any of these nations will likely undergo a weeks long quarantine, in which they will be tested thoroughly for any foreign bodies that could potentially run roughshod across their unsullied land. And while the measures taken are put in place to protect a nation from dangerous diseases, they can be quite exasperating.

What Do You Think?

No question Johnny Depp broke the law when he snuck his two Yorkies into Australia. Also, there is a good chance he knew what he was doing, since customs remembers searching his jet, but found no evidence of the dogs that were invariably aboard; this implies that he deliberately hid the dogs . However, 10 years in prison does seem a bit steep.

Do you think Depp deserves to do the time, or does Australia need to rethink the way they punish pet smugglers? Let us know!

Featured image from via Buzzfeed
Source: The Independent