Hooray! PetPlus Pups Gets First Shelter Dog Adopted

Whenever a dog is adopted from a shelter, it is cause for celebration. Every dog deserves a loving home and we appreciate every adopter opening their hearts to a rescue. But when that dog is also a PetPlus Pup, we tend to go a little nuts.


It’s always fun when we get to turn on the fog machines

So when we found out that Cooper, our first PetPlus Pup, was adopted last week, we just had to say something.

Cooper had been a resident at the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society for longer than any other pet, waiting for his forever home for six long months – and for no good reason!

See how wonderful Cooper is in this video.


Cooper and Sharif

Cooper is a lovable, playful, funny pit mix, but for some reason he was having trouble finding that perfect somebody to take him home. So we decided to step in and make him our first PetPlus Pup.

And it worked! Cooper now has a wonderful person to call his own, named Sharif, and the two of them are sure to have a wonderful, play-filled life ahead of them.

Want your own PetPlus Pup? Check out Allan – the new PetPlus Pup!

What is PetPlus Pups?

Many shelters have that one dog that keeps getting overlooked for no good reason, so we here at PetPlus decided to help out by sweetening the pot. For selected dogs that are having difficulty finding their forever home, we are pairing these dogs with a free lifetime of PetPlus to reward the wonderful people who give these dogs a place to live.

PetPlus is a pet care subscription service that gives members wholesale pricing on everything from flea and tick medication to treats, supplements, and Rx meds.

It also gives discounts at select veterinarians, as well as access to a 24-7 hotline staffed by licensed pet care professionals. That way, if you are experiencing one of those “do we go to the vet?” type moments, you can call the hotline first to get professional advice for free!

And with free shipping on all orders, PetPlus is guaranteed to save every pet parent tons on the lifetime cost of owning a pet.

Interested in PetPlus? Try a two week membership for free!



Animal Rescue League of NH – Keeping Strays from Freezing

Pet shelters that protect abandoned animals from harsh weather and health conditions typically produce heartwarming stories of rescue and survival. With winter in full swing, more canines, felines, and other neglected pets are in need of loving families who are ready for adoption.

The Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire is an organization dedicated to helping those steadfast strays who were left out in the cold but survived.


What are Puppy Mills?

Many dog owners may have heard the term “puppy mill” thrown around, but not everyone knows what they are. Puppy mills are a nickname for bad or negligent large-scale commercial breeders. Of course, not all breeders who sell dogs are bad. A puppy mill usually refers to a place that doesn’t provide dogs with adequate space or services. Puppy mills work similarly to large commercial farms, with anywhere between 10 to 1,000 breeding dogs.

Organizations like the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals are actively opposed to puppy mills, many of which are legal operations, because they claim that these large-scale breeders put profit above canine well-being.

“Puppy mills usually house dogs in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions, without adequate veterinary care, food, water, and socialization,” the ASPCA explained. “Puppy mill dogs do not get to experience treats, toys, exercise, or basic grooming … Breeding dogs at mills might spend their entire lives outdoors, exposed to the elements, or crammed inside filthy structures where they never get the chance to feel the sun or breathe fresh air.”

The sanitary conditions are also often bad, leaving dogs to live near their waste. Puppy mills typically sell their dogs to pet stores, through brokers, or over the Internet. They’re known for lying about records and falsifying documents, the ASPCA explained.

Blurred lines with some breeders 

Online magazine Dog Owner’s Guide argued that, although puppy mills are bad for dogs, some measures to prevent puppy mills make it tough on responsible breeders. Taxes, fees and restrictions can sometimes punish caring breeders as well because of how they’re written.

The issue comes from the inability to adequately define a puppy mill. Although they are universally seen as a bad place for dogs, distinguishing between them and legitimate breeders is more challenging than it appears.

Dog Owner’s Guide explained that puppy mills started after World War II to supply pet and department stores with puppies. However, many of the people who were breeding these dogs were farmers who didn’t know anything specifically about dogs, keeping them living in poor conditions.

Over time, animal groups tried to address this through lobbying and public awareness. This has led to many local rule changes and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal Welfare Act, which regulates the breeding and selling of puppies on a large scale. This act did not define a puppy mill, however, and hasn’t gone as far as many think it should.

Under the law, it’s legal for dogs to spend their entire lives in cages stacked on one another with no more than 6 inches of space in each direction, according to the ASPCA. But it also requires feeding, water, cleanliness and veterinary care.

Puppy mills today in the US

The ASPCA reported that there are 2,000 to 3,000 USDA-approved breeders in America that could be called puppy mills. Although they’re federally regulated, they don’t necessarily provide the care that the ASPCA, dog lovers, or other advocacy associations may want. Missouri has the most commercial dog farms in the U.S., with other dense pockets in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states.

There are also some puppy mills that are illegal and not regulated. Organizations like the ASPCA, various state SPCAs and humane societies have worked to close down specific puppy mills around the U.S. Also, they suggest that people don’t get their dogs from stores in order to collapse the puppy mill supply system over time. Instead, adopting or buying directly from a smaller, respectable breeder is preferable.

If you’re especially concerned about the well-being of dogs from puppy mills, some have been rescued and you can adopt them. When you’re training your survivor dog, turn to PetPlus for medication, healthy food and other goodies to help your dog lead a fulfilling and rich life.


INCREDIBLE: Mother Cat Adopts Orphaned Baby Rabbit

It’s a Disney movie come to life. When a baby rabbit lost both of his parents, this amazing mother cat sensed that he was in need and adopted him into her litter.

One might assume that a cat, being a predator, would see a baby rabbit as an easy meal. That’s what makes this video so special. This cat’s maternal instinct overtook her predatory one, which is not something you see every day in the animal kingdom. See the magic for yourself.

Mother Cat and Baby Rabbit

Is that not a miraculous sight? This mother cat shirked every one of her hunter instincts and cared for this baby rabbit just like any of her own kittens.

And let’s not understate the bravery of that rabbit. Most rabbits would be freaking out — and rightly so! But this little fuzzball is cool as a cucumber.

Perhaps the rabbit thinks he’s a cat (won’t THAT be an identity crisis later on). But so long as he has his mother cat around protecting him and keeping his fur clean, this little rabbit is going to be well looked after.

PetPlus offers a budget-friendly way board your pets while you’re out of town. Find out if PetPlus is right for you, and get more information on the members-only benefits, which include discounts on food and vet visits, as well as boarding discounts.


Are People Prejudiced Against Black Pets? Understanding Black Dog Syndrome

A new condition has surfaced in the pet community, and while it may not make your pet sick, it is believed to be responsible for thousands of pet deaths.

The condition is known as Black Dog Syndrome.

What is Black Dog Syndrome?

Black-Dog-Syndrome-4 Black Dog Syndrome (BDS) is the technical term for what people working at shelters see every day — pets with lighter colored fur getting snatched up while their darker haired brethren languish in their kennel. BDS is not a joke – the numbers are there.

Petfinder lists that most pets spend around 12.5 weeks up on their site before finding a home. Black pets, on the other hand, tend to hang around up to 4x longer — up to two years!

They are not only the last to be adopted either. If you keep tugging at that thread,  not only are these darker dogs and cats having a harder time finding a home, but they are also more likely to end up being euthanized.

The idea that ANY pet can end up dying as a result of not being adopted is disheartening, but the fact that the color of their is a factor is not only surprising, but appalling. Black-Dog-Syndrome-3 In some places, BDS has gotten so out of hand that shelters are actually hosting events and running specials with the goal of finding some homes for these darker furred pets. Things like “free black pet day” or “save a black cat on Halloween” are now a common occurrence among shelters everywhere.

But why black pets?

There are plenty of reasons why a black pet may linger in a kennel while a blond one gets adopted, and they are all complete nonsense. But nonsense or not, they still exist and we cannot hope to dispel them without addressing the issue.

1. The Negative Stigma Surrounding The Color

(aka the Darth Vader Effect)

Black has long been associated with evil, nefarious doings, while white has embodied the concept of purity and justice. That dichotomy is responsible for much of how we choose to personify the concept of good and evil. It is not mere coincidence that such iconic evil figures as Darth Vader, Maleficent, and The Black Knight are all cloaked in the same inky color. Black-Dog-Syndrome-2 In much the same vein, the superstition surrounding black cats is likely not doing dark haired kittens any favors when it comes to finding a loving home.

Is there a definite causal relationship between our societies  association that dark equates to bad and the fact that black pets have a harder time finding a family? No, but it certainly isn’t helping.

2. Black Pets are Harder to Photograph

The fact that pets with darker fur are less photogenic than their lighter furred kennel mates is likely the true “man-behind-the-curtain” of why darker pets linger in shelters. Black-Dog-Syndrome-1 Thanks to websites like Petfinder, many pets are selected for adoption before the family steps foot in a shelter. The downside, however, is that many of these pets are selected based on the cuteness of their profile picture.

This gives lighter colored pets a leg up since their facial features show up better in photos, whereas black pets tend to get washed out. Because of their coloring, dark furred pets often show up as a nondescript black blob with eyes — not a great first impression.

The Takeaway

While there are numerous reasons why a person might select a lighter colored pet over a black one, most of them are subconscious, and none are valid. The goal is to now be more aware of this problem and to correct for it in the future. We must stop discriminating against any pet based on the color of their fur, or any other cosmetic feature. Most of all, we need to find a home for every pet in need.

PetPlus offers a budget-friendly way board your pets while you’re out of town. Find out if PetPlus is right for you, and get more information on the members-only benefits, which include discounts on food and vet visits, as well as boarding discounts.

PetFinder – Black Dog Syndrome
Slate – Are People Racist Against Black Dogs?
ABC News – Prospective Pet Adopters Overlook Black Dogs and Cats, Shelters Say
The Guardian – Pets with black fur: why don’t you look good on social media?


New Program Shows That Cats Help Students Read


Can Cats Help Students Read?

A new way to encourage struggling students to improve their reading skills has suddenly cropped up, and it is cuddlier than you might think.


The Animal Rescue League of Berks County, PA, has recently set up The Book Buddy program, in which students having difficulty reading get to practice on one of the least judgmental audiences imaginable — a room full of cats.

RELATED STORY: How to Adopt Shelter Cats

It all began when volunteer coordinator Kristi Rodriguez’s son was having trouble reading. She told him to try reading to a few of the cats in the shelter, and it worked like gangbusters. Now her son is reading better than ever.

And thus, The Book Buddies program was founded.


One student, Colby Procyzk, had lots of trouble reading and his difficulty ended up impacting his sense of worth. Says Katie Procyzk, Colbys mother, to the Huffington Post: “He’d get himself so frustrated and upset. He’d cry, ‘I can’t do this, I don’t want to, I’m dumb and I’m stupid,’”

Luckily, his grandmother has ties to the Berks County Animal Rescue League (ARL), and had heard about The Book Buddies program. It did not take long for Colby to fall in with the program, learning that reading doesn’t need to be a chore. Since his involvement with the program, Colby’s reading in school has gone up two grades, and he even started reading for his own enjoyment.

In a different case,The Book Buddies program helped Cheyenne Boyles overcome her fear of animals. Previously frightened by the mere presence of pets, Cheyenne was enrolled in the program by her father, a volunteer dog walker. After a few weeks of reading to the kitties, Cheyenne has learned that pets are nothing to be afraid of, and now even helps her dad take shelter dogs on walks.


It doesn’t stop there, either. Yes, the program is a great way to stimulate interest in reading, as well as provide struggling students a safe environment to practice, but it also helps the cats as well. The Book Buddies program is a great way to get these cats socialized. Many strays are wary of human contact at first. However, after being around children that are simply minding their own business and speaking to them in soothing tones, these cats start to come out of their shell.

RELATED STORY: What Can Cause a Scared Cat to Panic

The program has also managed to stimulate adoptions, with parents wanting to take home the special cat that helped their child overcome their difficulties with reading. So, while The Book Buddies program was set up with the only goal of helping children become more comfortable reading, it has evolved into a multifaceted service that helps children, pets, and the shelter alike.

PetPlus is a new benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding and more.