<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - Connecticut News - Clear the Shelters]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/localen-usMon, 23 Oct 2017 06:05:20 -0400Mon, 23 Oct 2017 06:05:20 -0400NBC Local Integrated Media<![CDATA[Top Stories]]>Mon, 22 Aug 2016 10:19:11 -0400]]><![CDATA[Amazing Animal Stories]]>Mon, 22 Aug 2016 10:19:11 -0400]]><![CDATA[Before You Adopt]]>Mon, 22 Aug 2016 10:19:11 -0400]]><![CDATA[Videos]]>Mon, 24 Jul 2017 11:20:55 -0400]]><![CDATA[After You Adopt]]>Mon, 22 Aug 2016 10:19:11 -0400]]><![CDATA[Second Chances]]>Mon, 22 Aug 2016 10:19:11 -0400]]><![CDATA[Adoptable Pets Near You]]>Fri, 11 Aug 2017 15:54:30 -0400]]><![CDATA[Full Archive]]>Thu, 12 Oct 2017 09:05:53 -0400]]><![CDATA[Truffle and Poppy Need a Home]]>Fri, 22 Sep 2017 13:28:16 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Truffle_and_Poppy_Kittens_Clear_the_Shelters_1200x675_1052752451977.jpg

Truffle and Poppy are kittens who need a loving place to call their forever home.]]>
<![CDATA[Dog Rescued From Cliff at West Rock Ridge State Park]]>Sat, 26 Aug 2017 15:34:05 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/dog+cliff+west+rock+rescue.jpg

Crews from several agencies helped rescue a dog trapped on a cliff in West Rock Ridge State Park on Saturday.

The dog was stuck on a ledge on the Woodbridge side of the park around 11 a.m., according to Hamden Fire officials.

Firefighters from Hamden were called to assist Woodbridge firefighters and animal control officers from Woodbridge and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

According to fire officials, Hamden firefighter Scott Blake was lowered about 60 feet down the cliff to reach the pit bull mix.

After taking some time to gain the dog's trust, the firefighter was able to secure the animal and both were lowered to firefighters waiting below.

The dog had minor injuries, fire officials said.



Photo Credit: Hamden Fire]]>
<![CDATA[These Pets Are Still in Need of Homes]]>Tue, 22 Aug 2017 15:35:17 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*176/geisha+adoption.jpg]]><![CDATA[Pets Adopted at Clear The Shelters 2017]]>Sun, 20 Aug 2017 10:36:06 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*213/austin+and+mikka.jpeg

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Girl, 11, Raises Money For Connecticut Humane Society]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 17:23:12 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/rachelfundraiserpets.jpg

The Connecticut Humane Society in Newington is gearing up for Clear The Shelters on Saturday, however, on Friday one little girl thought the organization could use just a special surprise.

Rachel Richard dropped off a bucket of cash she raised to help the animals at the Connecticut Humane Society.

“We collected $120 dollars and 25 cents,” said Rachel.

She didn’t just collect the money, Rachel and her cousin put on a show.

“I'm like what if we do a dog show? And the idea just stuck in my head -- until I actually did it,” said Rachel.

In fact, this year was her fourth annual dog show in South Windsor, so her neighbors were quick to join in with eight dogs.

“The first event is always tricks, then there is reverse limbo, and there is an obstacle course and there is musical skit,” Rachel said.

“They had little cut out awards for first and second place,” Mark Richard, Rachel's father, said.

Mark always competes with one of the family’s two dogs.

“Every year it has just grown, so I am really proud of her,” Mark said.

“I hope it goes to helping the animals and making them feel more at home. Then when they find their forever home they will be happy,” Rachel said.

The Connecticut Humane Society in Newington will be open for Clear The Shelters on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. and all animals will have an adoption fee of $50.



Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Dog Abandoned in East Windsor Needs a Home ]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 09:39:50 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Reagan+East+Windsor+photo.jpg

A dog was abandoned in East Windsor and police are trying to find him a forever home.

Reagan, an American Bully mix, was abandoned with only a bowl of food and water, according to a post on the East Windsor Police Facebook page. 

He will need an owner who can responsibly care for him and anyone interested in meeting him can set up an appointment to meet him.

“He is too darn happy to waste away in our shelter,” police said in a Facebook post.

East Windsor is waiving the adoption fee for Reagan.

Several animals are looking for forever homes. If you are looking to expand your family with a pet, come to the third annual Clear the Shelters event on Saturday.

Click here for a list of Clear the Shelters Locations in Connecticut. 

Hundreds of shelters across the country are teaming up with NBC Owned Television Stations and Telemundo for the nationwide pet adoption drive on Saturday to help find loving homes for animals in need.

Almost 54,000 pets found their forever homes in 2016.



Photo Credit: East Windsor Police
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<![CDATA[East Haven Animal Shelter Giving Dogs Special Training]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 13:35:32 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/training+dogs+east+haven.jpg

The East Haven Animal Shelter is gearing up for Clear the Shelters and getting their dogs ready with some special training.

For 25 years, Owen Little, the shelter’s control officer, has helped pets in need find forever homes.

“That would be my biggest hope, an empty shelter. In 25 years, it’s never been empty,” Little said.

Little brought in expert dog trainer Michael Shikashio of Complete Canines in Mystic to help achieve that goal. Shikashio instructs dog training classes throughout the state, and uses dogs from the East Haven Animal Shelter during his sessions - which helps the dogs as well.

“The dogs learn new skills. The dogs get adopted faster and we build this network of trainers in Connecticut,” Shikashio said. “So, it’s just a win-win situation for everybody.”

Shikashio has volunteered to teach local trainers new skills every few weeks.

“I am really grateful to get to have this opportunity to learn from him and then to be able to help the dogs here,” said Ellen Carson, a worker at Sandy Paws Pet Training and Dog Sitting in Madison.

Shikashio said when people walk up to caged dogs in shelters, the animals get excited and start barking or jumping. Part of his training works to deter that behavior.

“People are going to be able to come and the dogs will be relaxed, calm, and not jumping all over the run,” said Sean Godejohn, assistant animal control officer.

Playtime is the first step in socializing and retraining the dogs, Shikashio said. Then teaching the dogs simple commands such as “sit” and “fetch” make them more attractive for adoption.

And though the shelter’s partnership with Shikashio is fairly new, they hope that, with time, and by learning new skills, the shelter will one day be empty.

“I hope they clear the shelter!” said Shikashio.

On Saturday, August 19, the East Haven Animal Shelter will be waiving all adoption fees as part of NBC Connecticut's Clear the Shelters initiative. Click here for more information or call the East Haven Animal Shelter at (203) 468-3249.




Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Darren Sweeney Shares Bentley's Story]]>Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:25:56 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Darren_Sweeney_Shares_Bentleys_Story.jpg

Darren Sweeney shares the story of the adoption of his sweet dog Bentley and how you can find your own forever friend on August 19 at NBC CT's Clear the Shelters adoption event.]]>
<![CDATA[Elderly Can Benefit from Companionship of Adopted Pets]]>Wed, 16 Aug 2017 12:25:53 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Adopted_Pets_Can_Benefit_the_Elderly.jpg

Join us for Clear the Shelters on August 19. Several animals are looking for a forever home and people who are elderly can benefit from the companionship gives. ]]>
<![CDATA[2 German Shepherds Found Abandoned in Glastonbury]]>Tue, 15 Aug 2017 12:53:32 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Dogs+abandoned+in+Glastonbury+both.jpg.jpg

Glastonbury police are investigating why two German Shepherds were abandoned within 24 hours at Riverfront Park on Welles Street, and who left them behind. 

Police said they believe the incidents are connected and they have leads as to who is responsible. 

Both dogs have been taken to the Glastonbury pound until their owners claim them or they can be adopted in September. 

Glastonbury Police Sgt. Corey Davis said both dogs were abandoned and reported to animal control officers at different times. 

The first dog was abandoned Sunday night without food or water. The second was abandoned Monday morning and left with a garbage bag of food, a bowl and a jug of water. 

“Unfortunately, instead of doing things the proper way, they believe that if they just leave them at the dog park that some other dog lover will find the dog and take it home,” said Sgt. Davis, who advises anyone who can no longer take care of their pet to contact their local animal control officer. 

Glastonbury resident Kate O’Neil said she was stunned to hear both dogs were abandoned at the dog park. 

“I can’t imagine just leaving – I mean, look at these faces,” O’Neil said. “You know? How could you look in those eyes and walk away?” 

When O’Neil’s parents passed away years ago, she took their dogs to the humane society to find a new forever home. 

“It costs you nothing,” she said. “You can walk away feeling good knowing that your dog is in good hands," O’Neil said, adding that there are better choices than to just abandon them.

If you have any information about who is responsible, call Glastonbury Animal Control at 860-633-7227.

Hundreds of animal shelters around the country are teaming up on Aug. 19 with NBC Owned Television stations, including NBC Connecticut, for Clear the Shelters, a nationwide pet adoption event.

Get the full list of shelters participating here. 



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters Kitty Cam]]>Sat, 19 Aug 2017 15:09:35 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/CANTON_KITTENS_1200x675_960004163763.jpg

Check out our NBC Connecticut Clear the Shelters Kitty Cam at the Connecticut Humane Society in Newington.

Animal shelters across the country are teaming up with NBC and Telemundo stations to find loving homes for pets in need. The third annual Clear the Shelters event, a nationwide pet adoption initiative, will be held Aug. 19. Hundreds of shelters in at least 20 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico will waive or discount fees as part of the one-day adoption drive.

The goal is to #ClearTheShelters by finding forever homes for as many pets as possible. More than 53,000 pets were adopted during last year's event, but millions more remain homeless. Every year, 7.6 million animals end up in shelters nationwide -- and only 2.7 million are adopted, according to the ASPCA.

Click here for a full list of participating shelters in Connecticut.

]]>
<![CDATA[Rupert and Reginy Need a Forever Home]]>Mon, 14 Aug 2017 12:15:16 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/RUPERT-AND-REGINY.jpg

One Groton rescue is hoping Clear the Shelters on August 19 will be the happiest day for two dogs who’ve waited far too long to find a family.

Rupert and Reginy are two German shorthair pointers with so much love to give. Their story begins at an overcrowded shelter in North Carolina, where their days were numbered.

But Friday’s Rescue Foundation in Groton stepped in and there, no dog is ever given up on.

“We get to save lives every day every time we go to get dogs that would otherwise not be here in a week or two,” said Elizabeth Atchinson of Friday’s Rescue Foundation.

Rupert and Reginy are a bonded sibling pair and have lived at the rescue for about four years – at around seven years old, that means the two dogs have spent more than half their lives waiting for a forever home.

“We've learned that they are housebroken, that they are snuggly love bugs...just overall great, great dogs,” Atchinson said.

It’s been difficult to place the two healthy dogs, because as a bonded pair, they’re a package deal.

“They have to go together. They're really dependent on each other ... also Rupert is an excellent jumper, he needs an 8 foot fence or to always be on a leash,” Atchinson explained.

Normally the adoption fees at Friday's Rescue range between $350 and $450, but on Clear The Shelters Day, the combined adoption fee for Rupert and Reginy will be just $200.

Rupert is a bit of a lapdog, and Reginy is a big more shy, but warmed up quickly.

“Anybody that can handle having two large dogs in their house is a great fit. They're great with all people, kids, they love to go for hikes, their foster parents take them out to Bluff Point all the time,” Atchinson said.

The staff at Friday’s is hoping Clear the Shelters Day will be the day Rupert and Reginy finally go home, even if it’s bittersweet.

“Cry with both joy and sadness because they've been here for so long, they almost become your dogs in a way ... so it would be joy, pure joy, it would be exciting,” Atchinson said.

More than 53,000 pets were adopted through the 2016 Clear the Shelters campaign, a nationwide push to place deserving animals in forever homes. Check out this year's participating Connecticut shelters by clicking here, and join the conversation on social media using #ClearTheShelters.



Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Yard Goats Player Hits Homerun in Volunteering With Humane Society]]>Fri, 11 Aug 2017 17:26:57 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Jack+Wynkoop+at+Connecticut+Humane+Society.jpg

There are no goats at the Connecticut Humane Society, however one Hartford Yard Goat baseball player wanted to stop by to see what volunteering with animals is all about. 

From throwing a baseball to playing fetch, Jack Wynkoop is an expert at the perfect pitch and his perfect pet. The Yard Goat’s pitcher brought home his rescue dog, Macy, after his girlfriend fostered the puppy for a shelter in Kentucky. Due to the travel involved, Macy stays with family during the busy baseball season. Therefore Wynkoop wanted to give his time to some animals in Connecticut. 

“This looks exactly like Macy when she was a puppy! A little skinnier, but the same face,” Wynkoop said when he glanced at a puppy at the Connecticut Humane Society. 

All of the puppy faces and playtime with the dogs became a fast favorite for the rookie volunteer. Wynkoop was definitely a designated dog walker, but was surprised by his skills when he stepped up, not to bat, but to meet a cat! 

“We have lots of different roles for our volunteers and one of them is. … Do you want to hold him? To be a cat cuddler,” Susan Wollschlager, an employee at the Connecticut Humane Society, asked. 

Snuggling and cleanup are both in the volunteer jobs lineup. 

“I think I would take the cat cuddler job over cleanup duty,” Wynkoop said. 

While not every job is a home run, Wynkoop said the animal education was pitch perfect. In fact, he wasn’t sure if the sound from a kitten was a growl or something else. 

“The little rumbling is just him purring? " Wynkoop asked. 

Reassurance from other volunteers that the cat’s purring was a good thing made Wynkoop more confident as he rounded the bases from room to room. Every animal he met inspired the athlete to be the greatest volunteer of all time, a GOAT on the field and at the shelter. 

“You’re going to get adopted on the 19th?” Wynkoop asked a puppy looking for its forever him. 

On Aug. 19 rescue groups across Connecticut will be pairing up with NBC Connecticut to clear the shelters and help get all animals in need of a home, adopted. 

Wynkoop hopes to volunteer that day, as long as he’s not pitching, to help some future pets win their most important game. 

“I am wishing for the shelters to be cleared, no doubt,” Wynkoop said. 



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[People Pet Vet Talks Clear the Shelters]]>Wed, 09 Aug 2017 17:07:34 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Talk+Stoop+Clear+the+Shelters.jpg.jpeg

People magazine Editor-in-Chief Jess Cagle and celebrity pet vet Evan Antin stop by “Talk Stoop” to chat with Cat Greenleaf about the effort to “Clear the Shelters” on Aug. 19.

Dr. Antin’s biggest piece of advice for those planning on adopting a cat or dog: “Going to a local rescue or shelter and visiting with the dogs, and realizing whether or not this is a good move for you,” he says.]]>
<![CDATA[Success Story: Teddy the Barbershop Dog]]>Fri, 11 Aug 2017 13:38:46 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/TEDDY-THE-BARBERSHOP-DOG.jpg

Inside a Connecticut barbershop, there’s a doggy in the window — he’s a star named Teddy.

The famous pup spends his days at Paulie’s Professional Barber Shop in South Windsor, waiting to greet arriving customers.

“He's a barber dog,” said shop owner, Paulie Lachance. It’s a title Teddy the Dog takes very seriously.

Along with a trim or shave, customers get a haircut companion. Tom Aiello said that’s one reason he loves to stop by.

“I think it's fantastic. He's one of the team guys,” said Aiello.

Teddy is a terrier mix who joined Lachance’s family back in October 2013. His story, however, wasn’t always a happy one. Teddy was found roaming a field in Tennessee, starving and eating mice after he was tossed out of a car. 

“They said he was emaciated. He was very, very thin, skin and bones," Lachance recalled.

Teddy was sent to Connecticut to live with a foster family who happened to be one of Lachance’s clients.

"I told him I had always wanted a shop dog, and the guy almost fell out of the chair. He's like, 'I got the perfect dog for you,'" said Lachance,

Fate and an adoption event brought the two together.

“He has been the best addition to my business and my personal life,” said Lachance.

Lachance credits Teddy with keeping his business booming. He said nine out of 10 people are at his shop to see Teddy, and the haircut is just a bonus.

“People walk by the shop every day and honestly just make their way in here just to say 'Hi' to the dog,” said Nick LaRusso, an employee at the barber shop.

The barbers at a Paulie’s Professional Barber Shop admit Teddy is tough competition. He takes his tips in treats, has the most clients and is pretty much famous.

“He is a celebrity! I joke all the time that I am going to run him for mayor and I think he could win,” said Lachance.

Elected official or official barber shop dog, there is no doubt this pup is proof that a rescue animal can reach new heights and our hearts.

“You got all the love you can handle and you are saving a life,” said Lachance.



Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[How to Bathe Your Dog]]>Sat, 05 Aug 2017 20:17:08 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Screen-Shot-2017-08-05-at-8.25.58-PM.jpg

Is your pup stinky? Watch Ripley the Chocolate Lab get a bath at Bideawee, a no-kill animal rescue in New York City, and see how you can safely bathe your own canine.]]>
<![CDATA[A Second Chance: 60 Kittens Saved From Death Row; 13 to CT ]]>Tue, 01 Aug 2017 09:43:41 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Newtown_Rescue_Saves_Litter_of_Superhero_Kittens.jpg

Thirteen little kittens have a lot to purr about in Newtown.

They’re the latest arrivals to Kitten Associates, a nonprofit home-based animal rescue. Now in their seventh year running, founder Robin Olson and her network of volunteers have saved nearly 500 cats from Connecticut and beyond.

“We always want to help our local cats first, but if somebody somewhere else needs a hand, I’m going to give it to them,” Olson said.

That’s just what happened when Robin’s phone rang last Sunday. A Tennessee shelter was beyond capacity due to overcrowding, and 60 kittens were scheduled to be euthanized on Monday morning. Olson sprang into action, coordinating with other rescue groups to get all 60 felines off of “death row” and into safe shelters. After receiving veterinary care, 13 of them made the long journey north to Connecticut, arriving Thursday night.

LIFE OR DEATH STAKES

The American Humane Society estimates between 3 and 4 million animals are euthanized in shelters across the country every year. Olson says higher death rates tend to appear in areas of the country with warmer year-round weather and less spay and neuter resources. Many shelters and rescues in the Northeast regularly make room for transports.

“It’s just this humungous never-ending population explosion,” Olson said, “and the resources they have can’t keep up with the demand no matter what they do.”

Outside of larger animal shelters and municipal pounds, Olson estimates there are several hundred animal rescues in Connecticut working together to save lives, “and they all specialize in different things. That person will take special needs cats, that person will take feline leukemia cats, that person knows all this about neonatal kittens. So we all share resources because there’s nobody out there that can do everything.”

The 13 Tennessee kittens are settling in nicely in Newtown, where they’re currently awaiting their spay and neuter surgeries to get them ready to be adopted by Clear The Shelters day on August 19. Their adoption fees will cover the surgeries along with testing, vaccinations, screenings, microchips and two months of pet insurance included.

HOW TO ADOPT

Kitten Associates’ adoption process includes a pre-adoption application followed by an in-home visit which includes an assessment for hazards like poisonous plants, and a veterinary reference. Click here to learn more and fill out an application ahead of Clear The Shelters day.

HOW TO HELP

If you can’t adopt but would still like to help Kitten Associates, the rescue has several outstanding needs:

  • Cat and kitten food
  • Volunteers to come socialize and play with the kittens
  • Monetary donations to assist with veterinary care

NAME THAT KITTEN

The “Tennessee 13” kittens are called the “Sweet Superheroes” for surviving the odds. NBC Connecticut viewers will have the honor of naming one kitten and following his journey to adoption! To submit your name idea (a superhero theme is encouraged) click here and check back here for progress updates.

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<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters on Aug. 19]]>Fri, 04 Aug 2017 17:08:15 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Corgi-GettyImages-512536165.jpg

On August 19, NBC Connecticut is Connecting You to wonderful, adoptable animals with our Clear the Shelters event!

NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations’ Clear the Shelters initiative is a community-driven nationwide pet adoption campaign that seeks to match deserving animals with loving and permanent homes.

All through August, NBC Connecticut will raise awareness of the importance of pet adoption. The campaign culminates on Saturday, August 19 with our one-day event across the state. Some participating shelters and organizations are offering waived or reduced pet adoption fees.

In 2016, more than 50,000 pets were adopted nationwide, and hundreds of those pets were right here in Connecticut.

Things to know about adopting during Clear the Shelters:

  • Participating shelters are across the state. Find one near you by clicking on the interactive map above.
  • You may arrive at a shelter to find the pet you saw online is no longer available. Don’t fret, there will be plenty of options available during Clear the Shelters.
  • Many facilities have online applications that may be filled out to streamline the adoption process. Check with your local shelter.
  • See a pet that seems right for you? Call the shelter and ask questions about temperament and personality. You don’t have to wait until August 19 to start the adoption process and ask questions.
  • If the shelter is too crowded, or the animals are in short supply, head to another shelter. There are dozens across the state.
  • Get to your shelter early and please be patient. The adoption process cannot be rushed. You’ll be heading home soon with a new member of the family, and it’s a great cause.
  • The purpose of this event is to raise awareness about CT shelters and all the animals up for adoption in Connecticut. We want to encourage our viewers across Connecticut to visit their local animal shelters, adopt pets into their families, and help us Clear the Shelters! It is an event for awareness about all of the pets in Connecticut that are available for adoption.
  • Don’t forget to use the hashtags #cleartheshelters and #nbcct when posting about your furry friends!

Click here for more information on Clear the Shelters.



Photo Credit: Getty Images/Moment RF
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<![CDATA['So Dire': Middlebury Animal Rescue Needs Pets Adopted]]>Sat, 29 Jul 2017 09:58:16 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Brass-City-Rescue-Alliance.jpg

An animal rescue in Middlebury said they need more than a dozen pets placed in forever homes or the shelter will be forced to shut down. 

"I can no longer bear the personal financial burden of this rescue. We have twelve long-time canines, and a ton of felines, needing adoption," the leader of the Brass City Rescue Alliance, Jennifer Humphrey, said. 

Humphrey said if the animals aren't placed by the rescue’s last scheduled event on Aug. 5, she may have to close the shelter due to mounting expenses.

The facility's operating costs exceeded $70,000 in 2016. Thanks to a slow adoption season, the facility is now behind in the monthly rent it pays to the Town of Middlebury for use of the rescue’s Service Road building.

"Just like anything, you need to bring money in to pay the bills. This is so dire," Humphry said.

The rescue also takes in animals from Odessa, Texas, that would otherwise be euthanized. Twenty-eight of those animals are expected to arrive in Connecticut this weekend, making the need for adopting pet parents even more serious.

Anyone looking to adopt a dog or cat can check Brass City Rescue's website here

The rescue is located at 2 Service Road, Middlebury, Connecticut. 



Photo Credit: Brass City Rescue Alliance]]>
<![CDATA[Help Blaze Find a Forever Home]]>Fri, 28 Jul 2017 16:25:29 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Blaze_Clear_Shelters_Pet_Dog_Find_a_Home_1200x675_1012382787666.jpg

Blaze is excited to find a new home.]]>
<![CDATA[Puppy Left at Airport Bathroom With Heartbreaking Note]]>Mon, 24 Jul 2017 13:20:15 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Chewy+Abandoned+Puppy.jpg

A miniature Chihuahua was left inside a Las Vegas airport bathroom along with a heartbreaking letter from the puppy's owner.

In the handwritten note, Chewy's owner reveals she's a victim of domestic violence and was escaping her "abusive boyfriend," but couldn't afford the airfare for her 3-month-old dog.

"She didn’t want to leave me with all her heart but she has NO other option. My ex-boyfriend kicked my dog when we were fighting and he has a big knot on his head. He probably needs a vet," the note, which was posted on the Connor and Millie's Dog Rescue (CMRD) Facebook page, said. "I love Chewy sooo much – please love and take care of him.”


Since sharing Chewy's story on Facebook, CMDR says there has been “tremendous interest” in the pooch. The Las Vegas-based rescue center said it reviewing all of the interest forms before it selects a new home for Chewy.

"However, there is but 1 Chewy and he can go but to 1 home. Please consider the hundreds if not thousands of "Chewys" loaded with love that are desperately seeking homes in shelters which are at max capacity, rescues are full! Please consider adopting another wonderful companion in his honor!" the shelter added.



Photo Credit: Connor and Millie's Dog Rescue
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Special Needs Corgis Ready for Their Closeups]]>Fri, 14 Jul 2017 15:17:00 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/DSC_9647_Panda.jpgEach corgi in the series has either a behavioral, neurological or other medical need.

Photo Credit: Casey Christopher]]>
<![CDATA[Rescued Miniature Horses to Provide Therapy for Wounded Veterans]]>Fri, 07 Jul 2017 13:33:36 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Horse_Therapy_Helps_Wounded_Veterans.jpg

A riding center in Ramona is bringing together miniature horses saved from slaughter and veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD) in a program that helps heal all involved.

The Cornerstone Therapeutic Riding Center adopted two miniature horses on Thursday, and will use them in its program Operation Saddle Up, which provides therapy to wounded service members and veterans suffering from PTSD, according the center.

The miniature horses were rescued from slaughter in a Texas auction house by P.A.W. 4 The Foundation, an animal rescue organization founded by Charlotte Olhausen. 

According to Cornerstone, the horse therapy provided through Operation Saddle Up has brought an 85 percent decrease in suicidal thoughts, 75 percent decrease in PTSD and 90 percent decrease in anxiety for those veterans enrolled in their program.

In addition to helping service members, Cornerstone said the horses will be used to help children with special needs and serve as program ambassadors throughout the community once they are trained.

]]>
<![CDATA[Retriever Fever: America's Most Popular Dogs, in Photos]]>Thu, 06 Jul 2017 22:55:37 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/178*120/1GettyImages-519107508_master.jpgThe Labrador retriever is America's best best friend, according to the American Kennel Club. This gallery features "aw"-inducing photos of the top 10 most popular dog breeds in America, as judged by the AKC.

Photo Credit: Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[ALS Treatment for Dogs Could Benefit Human Patients]]>Thu, 06 Jul 2017 12:46:47 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/ALS+Dog+1.JPG

Despite the increased awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease, few people know that a similar disease affects our canine companions. 

Degenerative myelopathy is a disease similar to ALS that causes progressive paralysis in older dogs. Both neurodegenerative diseases are fatal and there is no cure. 

As in humans with ALS, dogs with degenerative myelopathy eventually die when the respiratory system stops working, but often pets are euthanized before. 

But researchers at the University of Massachusetts partnered with the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in Grafton, Massachusetts, to test a new drug therapy in dogs that they hope could one day benefit human patients with ALS. 

Dogs participating in the trial, which began in December 2016, undergo tests and are checked every three months to assess their neurological and motor functions. According to Tufts, four dogs are currently in the pilot study. So far, the therapy appears safe in pets, but researchers say it's too early to determine whether it will stop the disease or reverse it.

"Does it work? That’s the question I wake up and go to bed with every day," said Robert H. Brown Jr., a UMass Medical School neurologist and one of the world’s foremost experts on ALS.

The failure rate with clinical trials for any drug is very high.

"Approximately only 10 percent of drugs that make their way into people is actually approved by the FDA for use in humans," said Dr. Cheryl London with Cummings School.

One reason is that tests are done on mice, which are given the disease or genetically engineered. London says because of these factors, the disease in mice don't accurately represent what researchers see in humans. But diseases in dog, cats and even horses do. Researchers also say because these animals are much closer in makeup to humans than mice, the likelihood of success is greater.

Greta, a 9-year-old boxer, is one of the dogs participating in the clinical trial of the drug therapy and her owner hopes it could stop her disease from getting worse. 

"Her contributing to the research was really important," Greta's owner said. "That it links to human ALS and research in that area, it just seemed like Greta could help dogs and humans, both."

________________

If your dog has generative myelopathy and you would like your dog to take part in this study, click here to see if it meets the criteria.



Photo Credit: NBC Boston]]>
<![CDATA[PAWmicon: Comic Canines in Cosplay]]>Thu, 20 Jul 2017 13:04:11 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/pawmicon_19.jpgCoo over woofers dressed as superheroes, and villains, too, from movies and comic books, at a sweet San Diego fundraiser.

Photo Credit: The Helen Woodward Animal Center]]>
<![CDATA[Kristen Bell, Charlize Theron Gush Over Their Rescue Dogs]]>Thu, 06 Jul 2017 22:08:45 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/KristenBell-CharlizeTheron.jpg

As the Annenberg Foundation prepares to celebrate the opening of the Wallis Annenberg PetSpace in Playa Vista, California, some of Hollywood's most famous dog owners are sharing their positive pet stories with fans.

In a new video posted on YouTube, Kristen Bell reintroduces viewers to her dog Lola, who she rescued at a shelter 13 years ago.

"I wanted a dog for my birthday, which was like my first dog as an adult and she was just staring at me from inside her kennel and I felt this instant connection and the woman at the pound said, 'You may not want that dog. She's been returned by two other families,'" the actress recalled. "And I said, 'Nope. That's my dog. That's the dog I want.'"

The rest, as they like to say in Hollywood, is history.

Stars Who Adopted Pets

Charlize Theron also stars in the video with her two beloved pooches Johnny and Berkley. The Hollywood actress couldn't help but emphasize how much pets can become part of the family.

"My children absolutely adore them and they adore my children and I cannot imagine my family without them," Theron shared. "What's better than opening your door and two friendly faces are just happy to see you no matter what? That's what Berkley and Johnny do."

She added, "They're strays, they look weird but they're so beautiful. You don't need a purebred dog."

The Wallis Annenberg PetSpace is described as a community service and pet adoption center that includes veterinary care and animal education.

In fact, the center also focuses on "the celebration and study of the relationship between people and their pets -- and the important and beneficial impact of the human-animal bond."

"Looking out for another living thing is a way of learning how to look out for yourself, learning to have empathy and love and I think that's brilliant for kids," Stephen Moyer shared. "It's a great reminder for us."



Photo Credit: File/AP Photo
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<![CDATA[Nearly 1,000 Animals Rescued]]>Wed, 21 Jun 2017 15:17:08 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/NC_rescuedanimals0621_1920x1080.jpg

Nearly 1,000 animals are being cared for after being found in an old moving truck in Fresno, California, Friday. Kendyll Lyons, a kennel worker at Fresno Humane Animal Services, has been working long hours to make sure the hundreds of birds, bunnies, quail and others. A total of 955 animals were rescued, but several have since died.


Photo Credit: KSEE-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Ultramarathon Dog Scores Book and Movie Deals]]>Thu, 06 Jul 2017 22:20:07 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP_17165751510592.jpg

Gobi, the stray dog who captured hearts when she adopted her human Dion Leonard during a 155-mile race across China's Gobi desert, will be featured in books and a movie depicting how the two met and bonded.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[34 Dogs Saved From 'Deplorable' Conditions in Calif. Home]]>Sat, 17 Jun 2017 18:28:33 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/6-17-17_Dog_Seizure.jpg

Nearly three dozen dogs were rescued Thursday from woeful conditions in a Scotts Valley home, according to the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter.

The rescue happened after someone reported that several dogs were suffering from "deplorable and inhumane" treatment at a residence. The animal shelter officers were familiar with the property since there have been similar complaints made in the past, the shelter wrote on Facebook. 

"The conditions were such that [the dogs] needed to be seized," Linda Puzziferro from the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter said. "They were breeding the dogs, and there were many dogs. The conditions were not good."

With the help of warrants and assistance from the Scotts Valley Police Department, the animal shelter retrieved 34 dogs. Most of the canines were Boston terriers, as well as some Tibetan spaniels and one Chihuahua mix.

The pets were not being treated appropriately and will need to be examined by the veterinarians, according to the shelter.

The dogs' owner struggles with hoarding problems and recently suffered a stroke, a man who lives on the property where the dogs were seized told NBC Bay Area. The man added that he understands there were too many dogs in one location, but claimed the pups were healthy.

The shelter is stretched thin, officials said, and asked for donations.

People looking for more information can find it online.




Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Calif. Couple Accused of Hoarding 180 Yorkies Pleads Guilty]]>Wed, 12 Jul 2017 02:48:23 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Poway-Dogs-RESCUED.jpg

A Poway couple, accused of hoarding more than a hundred Yorkie dogs inside their homes and a restaurant pleaded guilty Monday, confirmed prosecutors.

Christine Calvert, 62, and Mark Vattimo, 73, will be placed on three years of probation at their sentencing on July 11, said prosecutors.

Calvert and Vattimo previously pleaded not guilty in March.

Deputy District Attorney Karra Reedy said it's most important that the defendants get help, in order to make sure this never happens again.

The defendants must undergo counseling and are not allowed to own any pets, as part of their plea agreement. They also will transfer the ownership of a 31-foot motorhome to the Humane Society as restitution in the case, said prosecutors.

After 18 months of probation, Vattimo and Calvert may apply to have their felony convictions reduced to misdemeanors, according to Superior Court Judge Kathleen Lewis.

Back in January, the Humane Society received a report from a concerned veterinarian that suggested the Poway couple was keeping 180 dogs in deplorable conditions. The dogs were kept in dark, unsanitary rooms filled with feces, urine, and mice at the defendants' home.

When Humane Society officials went to the scene, they were prevented from entering the home, said Reedy. After a few days, they were able to come in and 94 dogs were removed from the defendants' home within the next eight hours.

Later, 29 dogs were also seized from a restaurant the couple owned and nearly 50 dogs were taken from a motor home when Calvert was arrested last February in Primm, Nevada, according to prosecutors.

It was unclear why the couple kept so many dogs in terrible conditions, Reedy said. All the animals had health problems, ranging from ear infections to severe matting.

The couple was charged with 10 felony counts, including animal abuse and neglect, and one count of resisting an officer.

The dogs were placed in the care of the San Diego Humane Society. 

More than 1,500 adoption applications were submitted for the Yorkies, prompting the organization to close the adoption process earlier than planned.

Ed. Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the name of a defendant. The article has been corrected. We regret the error.



Photo Credit: San Diego Humane Society]]>
<![CDATA[Lime is Sweet and Needs a Home]]>Fri, 09 Jun 2017 12:47:19 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Lime_is_Sweet_and_Needs_a_Home_1200x675_963924035958.jpg

This cute little kitten "Lime" is our Clear the Shelters Pet of the Week.]]>
<![CDATA[Stolen Dog Reunited With SoCal Family 7 Year Later]]>Wed, 07 Jun 2017 10:06:59 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/dog-reunion-060617.jpg

Pet microchipping led to a heartwarming reunion Tuesday for a Southern California family and their dog, who finally returned home seven years after she was stolen.

Kona, an 8-year-old pit bull, was dropped off by animal control at Ventura County Animal Services (VCAS) Saturday in Camarillo, where workers scanned her for a microchip implant that led to her owner, Shannon Pratt.

The last time Pratt and her family saw Kona was seven years ago when the then-1-year-old pit bull was stolen from their backyard in Ventura County, according to VCAS. The family has since moved to Bakersfield and Kona's collar was left behind.

Upon receiving the good news from VCAS, Pratt and her daughters drove to Ventura County to pick up Kona.

Tuesday's emotional reunion, which was streamed live on VCAS' Facebook, shows Pratt and her three daughters happy to be reunited with Kona.

"It's just the best feeling when the microchip scanner beeps," said VCAS director Tara Diller. "It means the pet has a microchip, and the chances of reuniting pets with their owners increases exponentially."

Even though a microchip implant dramatically increases the likelihood of locating a pet's owner, the vast majority of lost pets do not have these implants, according to VCAS spokesman Randy Friedman.

This is also true of the lost pets at the Camarillo Animal Shelter. Few animals there have microchips, making it difficult to locate owners and move animals out of the shelter. The Camarillo shelter currently offers shelter to 240 animals, almost 100 animals more than its intended 150-animal capacity. The shelter has been far over capacity since it became a "no-kill" facility in 2014, Friedman said.

Microchip implants are the size of a grain of rice and last a lifetime, making them a "game changer" for lost pets, Friedman added.

Animal services officials especially urge owners to microchip their pets as July 4 nears. Friedman said that having a microchip implant will increase the chance that a pet will be returned if it gets lost after running from fireworks.

VCAS offers microchip implants for $10 at low-cost vaccination clinics that are held at different sites each month. Implants are offered for free for pets that were lost and have been returned to their owners.



Photo Credit: Ventura County Animal Services
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<![CDATA[50 Animals Rescued Following Animal Cruelty Complaint]]>Tue, 06 Jun 2017 14:15:04 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/196*120/NHSPCA+rescue+060117+1+EDIT.jpg

About 50 animals living in overcrowded, filthy conditions were rescued in New Hampshire and relocated to the New Hampshire Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (NHSPCA) in Stratham following an animal cruelty complaint, authorities said.

An NHSPCA spokesman says the animals include two horses, a mother dog and her four puppies, 27 rabbits and 15 guinea pigs.

All will be evaluated by a veterinarian.

The organization believes the dogs are suffering from worms and the horses appear underweight and without proper hoof care. Some of the rabbits and guinea pigs were suffering from urine burns on their paws.

"It is always devastating to see animals that were entrusted to the care of humans and those humans failed to provide it," said Lisa Dennison, the NHSPCA's executive director. "These animals have suffered at the hands of human seeking to make a profit from their offspring."

The NHSPCA says the owners of the animals are cooperating with authorities but are expected to face animal neglect charges. Their information has not been released.

Once the animals have recovered, the NHSPCA said they will be placed in homes.

The agency is seeking donations to help pay for their food, vaccinations and care. To make a donation, go to www.nhspca.org, call 603-772-2921, Ext. 102 or send it by mail to New Hampshire SPCA, PO Box 196, Stratham, NH 03885.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut



Photo Credit: New Hampshire SPCA]]>
<![CDATA[Adorable Puppy 'Barton' Needs a Home]]>Mon, 05 Jun 2017 13:57:52 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Adorable_Puppy_Barton_Needs_a_Home.jpg

Barton is our Clear the Shelters NBC Connecticut Pet of the Week.]]>
<![CDATA[Meet Isis, the Bomb-Sniffing Dog Protecting You]]>Thu, 25 May 2017 12:30:13 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/215*120/052417+isis+the+bomb+sniffing+dog.jpg

ISIS was raised in prison, but she wasn't doing hard time. The bombing-sniffing pooch was trained by female inmates at Florida prison to become a service dog as part of a program called Puppies Behind Bars. NBC 6’s Julia Bagg reports.

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Service Dog in HS Yearbook]]>Fri, 19 May 2017 23:31:55 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/soldier+campbell+yearbook1.jpg

To see Kathryn Campbell smile, you'd have to look into her past. The once active, talkative little girl started having seizures at the age of ten.

"She has since lost her ability to speak with us, and she doesn't smile very much anymore," said her mother, Kim Campbell. "We have lost that outgoing little girl, and that has been absolutely the most difficult part."

Bringing comfort to the whole family is Kathryn's best friend, Soldier.

"He's a goofball, and he's a big old scaredy cat. He eats socks, which is his absolute worst habit," Kim Campbell said.

Soldier is Kathryn's service dog. Together, they attend Timber Creek High School in Fort Worth. He's by her side constantly — even in the school yearbook.

But his presence is for more than just comfort.

"He can smell the differences in her body before the seizures actually happen," her mother said.

His alerts range from licking to pawing and barking, and they give Kathryn's caregivers an average 45-minute warning before a seizure occurs.

"Every seizure is life-threatening," said Kathryn's nurse, Samantha Stringer.

Stringer said she uses the extra warning time to prepare oxygen and rescue meds.

When she jumps into action, Soldier waits. He's always on alert, and he's always by Kathryn's side—through everything.

As high school freshmen they went to homecoming together—and then prom.

Soldier is an active member of Kathryn's classroom, so when it came to student picture day, Soldier took part.

"There's lots of kids rolling through, it's like, 'Hey! Here's a dog, okay good,'" said photographer Jared Pyfer, who captured Soldier's student ID picture.

Soldier is not only featured in an article with Kathryn in the yearbook, he also has his own picture, alongside the other students.

Because of his name's first letter, S, Kathryn's sister separates them in the row of pictures. But Soldier is close by—just like always.

"I think it commemorates their bond that they have. They get to go through all of this together," student Amanda Barber said.

Soldier is a proud student with a life-saving sense of smell and enough love to give anyone who needs some comfort.

"Every life matters and everyone that walks into this school matters," Stringer said. "Even a dog's life can make an impact of life and death, and I think that's amazing."

"He's a blessing, all the way around," said Kim Campbell said.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[A Kitten Named Dr. Bob Needs Your Help]]>Fri, 19 May 2017 12:53:30 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Kitten_Doctor_Bob_Pet_Cat_Clear_the_Shelters_1200x675_948219971743.jpg

Dr. Bob is looking for a home.]]>
<![CDATA[Need a Dog Walker? There's an App for That]]>Thu, 06 Jul 2017 22:44:25 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/2017-05-15_0630.png

If you have a dog you have to leave everyday to go to work, you may feel a little guilty? What if your dog needs to go outside? Well, there's an app for that. News4's consumer reporter Susan Hogan shows us how a new app can make your day guilt free.]]>
<![CDATA[Help Give Toby a Forever Home]]>Fri, 12 May 2017 16:12:07 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Help_Give_Toby_a_Forever_Home_Clear_the_Shelters_1200x675_942669891761.jpg]]><![CDATA[Pistons Coach Adopts Animal Shelter's Last Dog]]>Thu, 06 Jul 2017 22:37:33 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/US-MI-Last-Dog-Adopt-CR_1200x675_940425283974.jpg

Detroit Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy and his family have adopted a Labrador retriever mix that was an animal shelter's last remaining dog following a pet adoption day.

Van Gundy, his wife Kim and their teenage daughter picked up Eastwood, a special needs dog, Tuesday at the Little Traverse Bay Humane Society in the northern Michigan city of Harbor Springs.

Eastwood gained national attention last week for being the shelter's last remaining dog following a statewide "Empty the Shelters" free pet adoption day that found homes for nearly 1,600 pets at 66 Michigan shelters.

The friendly pooch was born with an eye defect and a leg deformity that may someday require surgery.]]>
<![CDATA[Duck Shows Up at Man's Home, Refuses to Leave]]>Mon, 08 May 2017 16:12:48 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/NC_duckman0508_1500x845.jpg

A duck showed up at a Florida man's home a few weeks ago -- and he says it still won't leave the property. Lakeland resident Richard Martin says he tries to take the animal to a nearby lake but she always waddles back to his house.]]>
<![CDATA[Cat Survives 15 BB Gun Shots]]>Sat, 29 Apr 2017 05:34:08 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/chance-the-cat-la.jpg

An eight-month-old kitten is recovering after being shot 15 times with a BB gun earlier this week.

The stray feline came in to Nohl Ranch Animal Hospital with multiple puncture wounds, all of them aimed at his head, according to hospital officials. Five BB gun pellets went through the cat's skull; surgeons were able to remove all but one, which was too deeply embedded. 

Hospital workers have named the cat "Chance" because he miraculously survived the attack. Veterinarians said that cats are normally quick to run away once they've been attacked, raising questions about how 15 shots were fired at the kitten. 

"We would think he would have ran, so it's a possibility that he could've been held down or tied down," Dr. Janie Guirguis said. "But we're not sure."

Chance was found hovering under a truck just a few blocks from the Nohl Ranch Animal Hospital in Orange County, California.

Doctors said the shock of the attack left Chance blind, but they're hoping he'll regain his eyesight as he heals.

Chance will continue to recover before Nohl Ranch begins searching for a suitable home.



Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Lab Report: Gene Researchers Map Out Dog Family Tree]]>Tue, 25 Apr 2017 21:27:50 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/211*120/gretriever.jpg

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have come up with the most complete and definitive canine family tree to date, NBC News reported.

They've spent more than 20 years sampling the genes of 161 breeds of dog, sequencing them and comparing them to show how breeds were mixed and matched to make new breeds. The genealogy also gives a rough timeline and geographic map of what came from where.

"It's very subtle variation in small numbers of genes that account for that very large difference in morphology that we see across breeds," said Elaine Ostrander of the National Human Genome Research Institute, part of the NIH.

The goal is to track disease-causing genetic mutations, which often translate to human disease genes, Ostrander said.



Photo Credit: Getty Images (File)]]>
<![CDATA[Shy "Chai" is Looking for a Forever Family]]>Mon, 24 Apr 2017 12:24:22 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Chai_Dog_Needs_Home_Clear_the_Shelters_Pet_1200x675_928223811649.jpg]]><![CDATA[Match for Mutts? Website Helps People Adopt the Best Dog]]>http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Golden-Retriever-GettyImages-522796697.jpg

There's a new way to find the perfect family dog. 

The founders of the website How I Met My Dog say people usually select a pet based on appearance and breed. But that's barking up the wrong tree. 

How I Met My Dog matches humans and potential pets based on what really matters - personality, lifestyle and behavior. Some are calling it a canine version of eHarmony or Match for mutts. 

People looking for a new dog can fill out a personality profile based on their lifestyle. 

The site then matches them with dogs at shelters or that need new homes that would complement that lifestyle. 

The service has rolled out in the Boston area, and the founders are hoping to go nationally later this year.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut



Photo Credit: Getty Images/Hero Images]]>
<![CDATA[Tori is Looking to Be Adopted]]>Mon, 17 Apr 2017 12:55:24 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/tori+cat+clear.jpg

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Pet of the Week: Minuit the Cat]]>Fri, 24 Mar 2017 11:14:36 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Minuit_the_Cat_1200x675_905622083998.jpg

Minuit the cat is looking for a forever home. ]]>
<![CDATA[Bass the Puppy Needs a Home]]>Mon, 06 Mar 2017 10:42:43 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Bass_the_Puppy_Needs_a_Home_1200x675_889495107711.jpg

Bass, a pitbull mix, is our Clear the Shelters Pet of the Week.]]>
<![CDATA[Maple the Rabbit Needs a Forever Home]]>Fri, 24 Feb 2017 16:21:40 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Maple_the_Rabbit_Needs_a_Forever_Home_1200x675_884282947819.jpg]]><![CDATA[Dog Left Tied to Pole in West Haven Park]]>Mon, 06 Feb 2017 15:49:42 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Dog+left+at+Morse+Park+in+West+Haven+on+leash.jpg

A dog was found tied to a fence post in a West Haven park this morning. Animal control is looking for information on his owner and police said he’s looking for a loving home.

Police said the 2-year-old dog was found tied up at Morse Park Monday and animal control says it appears he slipped out of his collar and just waited for help.

The dog is at the shelter and looking for a loving home.

West Haven Animal Control said he was cold and scared. Anyone with information on the person who owns the dog is asked to call 203-937-3642/



Photo Credit: West Haven Animal Control
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Gretel Needs a Forever Home]]>Sat, 04 Feb 2017 16:24:53 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Gretel_Needs_a_Forever_Home_1200x675_870240323838.jpgGretel is just 12 weeks old and is looking for a forever home.]]><![CDATA[Rudolph the Puppy Needs a Home]]>Sun, 22 Jan 2017 17:20:44 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Rudolph_the_Puppy_Needs_a_Home_1200x675_860271171692.jpgRudolph is looking for a forever home.]]><![CDATA[Puppy Abandoned Outside East Windsor Animal Shelter]]>Tue, 17 Jan 2017 12:32:28 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/East+Windsor+abandoned+pup+to+get+new+home.jpg

A puppy abandoned outside the animal shelter in East Windsor two weeks ago will be going to a new home.

Police said the mixed breed puppy, who is about a 1 year old, was tied us outside the shelter but was able to break loose before he could be brought inside. Animal control had a tough time capturing him, but treats helped.

After East Windsor Police posted the dog's story and photos on Facebook, Jason Rennie, of Broad Brook, went to meet the dog and said he now plans on adopting him.

"A tug on the heartstrings," Rennie said. "It was one of the biggest reasons, other than the dog itself, why we wanted to adopt." 

Rennie said he and his wife looked at each other and knew they had to adopt the dog and now plan to let their 9-year-old daughter name him.

"I think it's going to bring years of happiness," Rennie said.

If you are interested in giving an animal a home, call East Windsor animal control at 860-490-6142 or 860-292-1962.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Boris Needs a Home]]>Mon, 16 Jan 2017 14:17:24 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/boriscat.jpgHelp NBC Connecticut clear the shelters by finding Boris a forever home.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Duke Needs a Forever Home]]>Fri, 09 Dec 2016 14:38:09 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/duke+the+dog.jpgHelp find Duke his forever home.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Mom and Kittens Rescued from Storm Drain at Quinnipiac]]>Fri, 02 Dec 2016 16:36:57 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Quinnipiac+Cat+and+Bobkittens.JPG

Four kittens that were stuck in a storm drain at Quinnipiac University have been reunited with their mother and will be available for adoption.

Jen, a student, said a group of people were trying to help get the kittens from the storm drain on campus Monday and the kitten rescue continued the next day. 

Jen said Hamden police and fire told the students that they were "too busy" to respond Monday night.

A Quinnipiac University spokesman told NBC Connecticut that school workers opened the storm drain grate and got the kittens out on Monday but the kittens went back inside shortly after. School officials said the kittens were not trapped and could come and go as they please.

Rescue group Super Paws Rescue Inc. told NBC Connecticut a student reached out to them Tuesday morning and that they were looking into the situation.

Police said the assistant animal control officer received a message at 7 a.m. Tuesday university public safety staff, responded and rescued two of the kittens. 

Because of rain, police contacted public works crews to obtain sand bags to keep the storm drains from flooding. Super Paws Rescue also provided a tarp and university staff set up a canopy over the storm drain.

A local contractor brought a camera to place into the drain and the two other kittens walked into netting and were rescued.

The kittens are at Super Paws in Fairfield and will be checked out and spayed or neutered. They will likely be available in five to six weeks. For information, call 203-578-6396.

On Wednesday, school officials said the mother cat was reuinited with the kittens at SuperPaws. 

See more pets available at Super Paws here.



Photo Credit: Super Paws Rescue
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Pet of the Week: Thumper the Rabbit]]>Sun, 13 Nov 2016 13:58:09 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Thumper_Rabbit_Clear_The_Shleters_Animals_Pets_1_1200x675_806836803769.jpgThumper the Rabbit needs a new home.]]><![CDATA[Clear the Shelters: Day in the Life of a Veterinarian]]>Mon, 13 Feb 2017 16:53:38 -0400

NBC CT is partners in a caring community helping to clear the shelters one animal at a time.]]>
<![CDATA[Tater Tot Needs a New Home]]>Thu, 27 Oct 2016 10:03:49 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Bunny_Rabbit_Clear_Shetlers_Tater_Tot_1200x675_793240131873.jpg"Tater Tot" the bunny needs a forever home.]]><![CDATA[Pet of the Week: Sean]]>Fri, 07 Oct 2016 15:45:01 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/sean+the+kitten+2.jpgThe little kitten Sean is looking for a home ]]><![CDATA[Sparky is Ready to Be Adopted]]>Fri, 02 Sep 2016 13:22:43 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Sparky_Clear_Shelters_Pet_Week_Animal_Rescue_1200x675_756898371686.jpgHelp clear the shelters and find Sparky his forever home.]]><![CDATA[Help Find Stuart a Home]]>Mon, 29 Aug 2016 09:44:07 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Clear_the_Shelters_Stewart_Pet_Week_Animals_Dogs_1200x675_751841347734.jpgStuart needs a home.]]><![CDATA[Cute Kitten, Funny Name]]>Fri, 29 Jul 2016 13:04:54 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Capicola_Kitten_Clear_the_Shelters_Pet_1200x675_734786115803.jpgCapicola needs a new home and she is up for adoption.]]><![CDATA[Dog Toy and Treat Do's and Don'ts]]>Wed, 27 Jul 2016 17:52:45 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/puppy+web.jpg

Hundreds of local families helped NBC Connecticut Clear the Shelters this past weekend.

Six-hundred-ninety pets were adopted, many of them dogs. New dog owners should pay attention to the the treats and toys their dogs play with - they can have a major impact on the animal's health.

“I try to encourage people to buy treats that follow my formula, SAFE: Soft, American, not fragmentable and not to be eaten,” said Arnold Goldman, owner of Canton Animal Hospital.

A quick breakdown: Softer bones are better than hard ones. A Nylabone for example is a bone for chewing but it doesn’t break down into pieces like a raw hide bone does.

“Toys and treats that are rock hard for example so called marrow bones can over time break the enamel on the teeth especially cutting and crushing teeth of upper,” said Goldman.

Dr. Goldman has been a veterinarian for 30 years and says he recommends buying American made products because they don’t contain harmful chemicals. He also says to avoid fragmentable bones, if you want to avoid pricey surgical procedures.

“Fragments of bone can be swallowed, they can be painful, they can perforate the bowel they can make all sorts of problems from one end to the other,” said Goldman.

Speaking of the digestive process, Dr. Goldman says once those bones are eaten they don’t digest well and can sit in the stomach for months.

“A large breed dog swallowed this whole thing and had to be removed from the stomach because it wasn’t coming out,” he said.

A $5 bone a dog devours in five minutes could mean a $500 visit for blood work or even $3,500 for emergency surgery.

Products like the durable Kong Ball are a better alternative. They’re designed to be stuffed with a dog’s favorite food and they don’t end up in their stomach.

Vets also recommend investing in pet insurance which they say can typically cost $20 a month, depending on the type of insurance.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Best of Clear the Shelters Cat Cam]]>Wed, 27 Jul 2016 14:12:54 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/cat+cam+gif.gifA look at some of the cutest moments from our Clear the Shelters Cat Cam.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Family Set to Adopt One Dog, Leaves With Two]]>Sat, 23 Jul 2016 18:01:40 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/CTSJediSithDogs_1200x675_731049539547.jpgNBC 7's Dagmar Midcap speaks with a San Diego family who went to the San Diego Humane Society during Clear The Shelters on July 23, 2016 with the intentions of adopting one dog, but happily left with two new pets.]]><![CDATA[Clear the Shelters: Pets Adopted Around the Country]]>Sat, 23 Jul 2016 18:53:00 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/ACCT+Othello+Dog+CTS.JPGThousands of pets have been adopted from hundreds of shelters across the country as part of Clear the Shelters, NBC and Telemundo's nationwide pet adoption initiative. Here are some of the animals that found their forever homes.

Photo Credit: Joseph Kaczmarek]]>
<![CDATA[Tails of Courage Gives Animals and Inmates a Second Chance]]>Fri, 22 Jul 2016 13:25:35 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Tails_of_Courage_Gives_Animals_and_Inmates_a_Second_Chance_1200x675_729686083648.jpg]]><![CDATA[Puppy Party Before Our Clear the Shelters Event]]>Tue, 19 Jul 2016 15:59:02 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Puppy_Party_Before_Our_Clear_the_Shelters_Event_1200x675_727988291659.jpg]]><![CDATA[Heidi Voight Talks About Clear the Shelters]]>Thu, 14 Jul 2016 14:30:17 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/heidi+voight+comcast+clear+shelters.jpg

As part of the countdown to Clear the Shelters Day, NBC Connecticut's Heidi Voight sat down with Comcast Newsmakers to discuss the initiative to find forever homes for animals in shelters across Connecticut.

The event happens July 23, and is a joint partnership between the NBC Owned Television Stations and Telemundo. See a list of participating Connecticut shelters here.

Comcast is the parent company of NBC Connecticut.



Photo Credit: Comcast Newsmakers
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<![CDATA[Madonna Dancer’s Dog Fatally Shot by Police in Brooklyn]]>Wed, 13 Jul 2016 09:39:57 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/stonnie+boy+dog+shot+killed.jpg

A dog belonging to a professional dancer touring with Madonna was shot and killed by police officers while they were issuing an arrest warrant in Brooklyn Tuesday, police and friends say. 

The officers went to a home on Montauk Avenue in East New York in the early evening to serve a warrant to a 29-year-old man wanted in an open complaint, police said.

There, the suspect had a pit bull loose, and the dog bit one of the officers in the arm. His partner opened fire on the dog, killing it, police said.

"They came into the gate. He had the dog loose and the dog came out," said witness Micky Burgos. 

The cop who was bitten was treated for minor injuries. 

The dog belonged to a friend of the suspect, who was watching it while the owner -- a professional dancer named Stanley "Sheik" Mondesir -- wraps up his tour with Madonna in Los Angeles, friends said.

A witness said the officers had no choice but to shoot the animal, but friends said the dog was well-trained and cops should have tried to avoid it.

"The dog is a good dog," said Peaches Simmons, a friend of Mondesir. "I feel like if they really needed to get in the house -- that's why the need animal control." 

Simmons called Mondesir to let him know his dog was killed, and said he was distraught.

"He started crying 'cause he had Stonnie since he's a baby," said Simmons.

The dog, named Stonnie Boy -- an apparent slang term for "get wild" and something Madonna yells onstage -- was about 3 or 4 years old. 

People in the neighborhood said the dog was well-behaved and never seemed aggressive. But Burgos said the officers did what they had to do.

"I told the police officer, 'I'm sorry, it wasn't your fault,' 'cause the dog came at him," said Burgos. 

Police would not describe the nature of the warrant that was being issued against the suspect. 

Mondesir is a so-called "bone-breaker" dancer who has been touring with Madonna over the past year, friends said. He was also part of a popular dance crew, RingMasters, that appeared on MTV. 



Photo Credit: NBC 4 NY/Provided
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[9 Cats That Won't Make You Sneeze]]>Mon, 07 Aug 2017 15:36:57 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-99192954_high-cropped.jpgIf you love cats but suffer from allergies, don't be discouraged. Here are a few breeds that won't send you running for Benadryl.

Photo Credit: Brenda Carson/Getty Images/Hemera]]>
<![CDATA[Pa. Firefighters Rescue Fox]]>Mon, 11 Jul 2016 12:12:38 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Soccer+Net+Fox.PNG

A group of local heroes rescued a fox tangled in a soccer net in New Hope, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

New Hope Eagle Volunteer Firefighters, along with Solebury Township Police and Medic 146 came to the rescue of the fox after its head was stuck in the soccer net.

A video posted on Facebook shows the group cutting the net that appears to be tangled around the animal's head. They then released the fox back into the woods. Take a look at the rescue in the video embedded above.



Photo Credit: New Hope Eagle Volunteer Fire Company
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Md. Woman Kept 66 Dogs in Her Home]]>Sat, 09 Jul 2016 09:38:30 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Katherine+Ting+Tiong+Look+N.jpg

A Maryland woman will spend 180 days in jail for keeping 66 dogs in deplorable conditions in her home.

A district court judge sentenced 47-year-old Katherine Ting Tiong, of Rockville, to more than 16 years in prison with all but 180 days suspended. She also will be placed under three years probation and has been ordered to pay a $1,000 fine. 

The judge said the dogs would have been better off euthanized than continue living in her home.

Ting Tiong was charged earlier this year after police rescued the dogs on New Year’s Day.

The dogs were found in varying levels of distress, according to the Animal Services Division of the Montgomery County Police Department. Many of the animals had dirty fur soaked in urine, infections or suffered from other untreated diseases.

Three of the dogs had to be euthanized, and another also died.

Ting Tiong told authorities she was operating a rescue service called Forever Homes Animal Rescue.

Before sentencing Friday, Ting Tiong told News4's Kristin Wright she had lined up a rescue in New Jersey to pick up 30 of the dogs.

The police investigation officially began after one of the dogs bit a woman at a Potomac pet adoption event in December.

Most of the surviving dogs have been adopted, but some of them are still working through issues with their new families, according to Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center. Three of the dogs are still up for adoption.

To adopt, call 240-773-5900.



Photo Credit: Montgomery County Police]]>
<![CDATA[Helping Pets During Fireworks Shows]]>Mon, 11 Jul 2016 12:27:34 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Dogs+vs+Fireworks.jpg

The Fourth of July fireworks may be fun for those of us on two legs, but for a lot of four-legged friends out there, it's not the same story. 

The loud noise from fireworks shows during the holiday can often cause serious anxiety for pets and can even send some running out of fear.

Cate McManus with Dallas Animal Services said it’s common to see a rush the day after the yearly Fourth of July display as their already packed shelter takes on even more pets that got away from home.

“When animals just freak out from fireworks, they get out of fences or break down doors," she said. "I mean some dogs really go to extremes to get away — they’re so scared."

There are a lot of options available to deal with the anxiety such as wearable options, while others include herbal or over-the-counter pills offered at pet stores.

Last May, when Southlake veterinarian Dr. Tom Holbrook was seeing similar anxiety from dogs during thunderstorms, he showed NBC 5 a new medication being prescribed to dogs during such situations called Sileo.

"You put it in the cheek and gums,” said Holbrook. “Just put the syringe right in the gum right there and just squirt so many dots, and the dots are on the syringe itself."

The fast acting gel calms the pet and wears off after just a few hours. Holbrook’s office warns that it does require a checkup and prescription from your local vet to get the gel.

McManus said her best advice for avoiding problems during the fireworks is to keep your animals indoors and comfortable in a spot where they feel safe.

“Keeping them confined, well confined, certainly with a collar and tags on just in case,” she said.

If you do come across a stray after the fireworks, local animal services leaders ask that you contact them right away so that they can work to get that pet back home.



Photo Credit: Brian Scott, NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Dogs Hitch a Ride With Maryland Firefighters]]>Sun, 03 Jul 2016 13:42:38 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/dogs110.jpg

A group of Maryland firefighters gave a helping hand to a few four-legged furry friends Saturday morning — saving one from a hot car.

Prince George's County firefighters were called to the Home Depot in the 6000 block of Oxon Hill Road after a man reported having chest pains.

The man was in his vehicle in the store's parking lot with three dogs. He told the firefighters he had been drinking and was intoxicated, fire officials said.

Firefighters offered to take him to the hospital, but he declined. The concerned firefighters then called police who told the man he was in no condition to drive home. They suggested he walk to his house nearby.

The firefighters then noticed a dog left in another parked vehicle in the lot. All of the vehicle's windows were closed.

The crew found a door unlocked and rescued the dog. They tended to the pup until its owners returned to the vehicle, fire officials said.

Firefighters then gave the three other dogs an adventurous ride back home on-board the fire engine.



Photo Credit: Prince George's County Fire and EMS]]>
<![CDATA[Help Find Speckles a Home]]>Fri, 01 Jul 2016 11:50:57 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/speckles+clear.jpgSpeckles is a loving companion who needs someone to give her a forever home.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Give Midnight a Forever Home]]>Sat, 25 Jun 2016 15:19:54 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Midnight_Clear_Shelters_Pet_Animal_Dog_Cat_1200x675_712804419754.jpgMidnight is playful and would love a forever home.]]><![CDATA[Stowaway Kitten Goes For Ride in SUV's Engine Compartment]]>Fri, 24 Jun 2016 09:03:13 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/westport+kitten+rescue_1200.jpg

A kitten went for a bit of an unexpected ride in Fairfield County, Connecticut, on Wednesday.

A woman stopped at Dunkin Donuts in Norwalk and came out of the restaurant to find someone looking under her SUV.

The person told her he saw a kitten jump up under her car, but neither of them could find it.

After a few minutes, the woman drove off and made her way to the Fairfield County Hunt Club in Westport, where she was working at a horse show.

When she got out of her car, she heard meowing from her engine compartment. She located some Westport firefighters, who were at the club on standby for the horse show and asked them to take a look.

The firefighters found a kitten that had crawled up into a space between the front bumper and the radiator. He had no plans of coming out, according to Westport fire officials.

The crews worked for two hours to raise the vehicle and remove some car parts to get to the area where the kitten was hiding.

Westport's animal control officer took the rescued cat to a veterinarian to be checked out.

The staff at the club have decided to keep the cat and have named him "Bumper."



Photo Credit: Westport Fire Dept.]]>
<![CDATA[Meet the AKC's Newest Breed]]>Wed, 22 Jun 2016 07:43:15 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/westminster+dog.jpg

A high-energy Hungarian herding dog is the latest new breed headed to the Westminster Kennel Club and many other U.S. dog shows.

The American Kennel Club is announcing Wednesday that it is recognizing the pumi, the 190th breed to join the roster of the nation's oldest purebred dog registry. That means the pumi can vie for best of breed at Westminster for the first time next February.

With coats of corkscrew curls and ears that flop at the tips, the pumi (pronounced POOM'-ee) has a whimsical expression that belies its strong work ethic, fanciers say. The 20-to-30-pound breed goes back centuries in Hungary, where it herded cattle, sheep, and swine. It's related to the puli, a breed already recognized by the AKC and known for its coat of long cords.

Like many herding dogs, pumis — the proper plural is actually "pumik" — are alert and active.

"They're not for somebody who's going to sit and watch TV all day long," said Chris Levy, president of the Hungarian Pumi Club of America. But if provided with enough exercise and stimulation, "the pumi can chill out."

Considered quick learners, pumis have done well at agility and other canine sports. Some in the U.S. also herd rabbits, chickens, goats and even cats in a cattery, said Levy, who breeds the dogs in Salem, Oregon. She and others have been working to build up the breed in the U.S. for two decades, but it's still quite rare.

AKC recognition requires having at least 300 dogs of the breed nationwide, among other criteria. Two other new breeds, the American hairless terrier and an ancient North African hound called the sloughi, were recognized this past January and will also be eligible for Westminster for the first time next year.

Some animal-rights advocates say dog breeding is too appearance-focused and irresponsible when many mixed-breed animals need adoption. The AKC says conscientious breeding helps people and pets make happy matches by making the animals' characteristics somewhat more predictable.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut



Photo Credit: Thomas Pitera/The American Kennel Club via AP]]>
<![CDATA[11 of the Best Dog Breeds for Senior Citizens]]>Mon, 07 Aug 2017 16:47:22 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/welsh-terrier.jpgA friendly dog can make the perfect sidekick for a senior citizen. According to PetBreeds, these 11 breeds are hardy and cheerful, making them excellent companion dogs. They are also highly intelligent and can be trained to assist less able-bodied owners.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Cash' The Rabbit Needs a Home]]>Fri, 17 Jun 2016 16:59:42 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Cash_Bunny_Rabbit_Clear_Shelters_Needs_Home_Pet_1200x675_707830339551.jpgCash and his friend Money are both looking to go to the same forever home.]]><![CDATA[News Anchor Apologizes to Dog He Saw in Hot Car]]>Tue, 14 Jun 2016 17:34:59 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Kyle-Clark-cropped.jpg

Kyle Clark, a news anchor in Denver, made an impassioned apology to a furry member of the local community during a recent broadcast.

While grabbing lunch, Clark heard a dog loudly crying in a locked Honda CR-V on a 90-degree day. In a video of his broadcast posted to his Facebook page, Clark said he nearly resorted to throwing a rock through the car window to help the clearly distressed dog. He said the animal's cries could be heard from across the parking lot.

"Do you know how hot it is in 90 degree sun when you're wearing a suit, or fur, in a car? I'm guessing you don't or you don't care," said Clark, who works for NBC affiliate KUSA.

Deciding against breaking a window, Clark instead called the Denver 311 help center. While he was on hold, the dog's owner finally returned from the nearby frozen yogurt shop. However, Clark said the person "blew him off" and "basically laughed" when he warned the person against leaving the dog in a hot car.

"There's an apology in order, not for you, no, for your dog," Clark said. "I am sorry that your dog does not have better humans."

The American Veterinary Medical Association warns that hundred of pets die every year from heat exhaustion after being left in cars on warm days. Dogs are particularly susceptible to the heat because their primary method of cooling is panting, which is not as efficient as sweating. The organization writes on its website that parked vehicle temperatures can rise by almost 20 degrees in just 10 minutes and continue to rise over time-- even if the windows are cracked.



Photo Credit: KUSA]]>
<![CDATA[Cuteness Overload: Find April a Home]]>Fri, 10 Jun 2016 12:37:42 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/April_Dog_Clear_Shelters_Pet_of_the_Week_1200x675_703092803545.jpgApril is an adorable puppy who needs a forever home.]]><![CDATA[Snickers the Dog Needs a Home]]>Sun, 05 Jun 2016 11:49:01 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Snickers_Pet_Dog_Clear_Shelters_Animals_1200x675_698600515556.jpgSnickers is lovable and a bit goofy. He's looking for a forever home.]]><![CDATA[Hardly a Dog's Life for First Pets Bo & Sunny]]>Sun, 29 May 2016 17:46:15 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP_851780932641.jpg

It's hardly a dog's life of just eating and sleeping for President Barack Obama's pets, Bo and Sunny.

The pair of Portuguese water dogs — Bo with his distinctive white chest and front paws, and the all-black Sunny — are canine ambassadors for the White House, very popular and so in demand that they have schedules, like the president.

"Everybody wants to see them and take pictures," Michelle Obama said. "I get a memo at the beginning of the month with a request for their schedules, and I have to approve their appearances."

The dogs have entertained crowds at the annual Easter Egg Roll and Bo has been at Mrs. Obama's side when she welcomes tourists on the anniversary of the president's inauguration. The dogs also have cheered wounded service members, as well as the hospitalized children the first lady visits each year just before Christmas. In a sign of just how recognized Bo and Sunny are, authorities in January arrested a North Dakota man who they say came to Washington to kidnap one of the pets.

Bo, now 7, joined the Obama family in April 2009. He was a gift from the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., a key supporter of Obama's 2008 presidential campaign who became close to the family. Bo helped Obama keep a promise to daughters Malia and Sasha that they could get a dog after the election.

Sunny, nearly 4, came along in August 2013.

Bo already had a job as a "helper" to Dale Haney, the head groundskeeper at the White House, which happens to be a national park.

"He leaves every morning and he goes down with Dale ... and he's with all the National Park Service guys. And you'll see him, and he's like walking around with them, and looking at the plants," Mrs. Obama said. "I think he thinks he has a job because he takes it very seriously. So if I go out and see him, he kind of ignores me when he's with his worker crew people."

The dogs have a pretty nice life. "They can sit on my lap, they sit on my chair, they cuddle with me," Mrs. Obama said. "I like to lay on the floor with them and blow in their face. I like to make them run and chase each other. But they're so cute, I just love to just cuddle them and massage them."

Presidential pets are always popular and many presidents kept dogs as companions. President Harry S. Truman famously advised: "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog."

President George H.W. Bush's English Springer Spaniel, Millie, "wrote" the best-seller "Millie's Book."

President Bill Clinton's chocolate Labrador Retriever, Buddy, helped Clinton weather the scandal over his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

President George W. Bush's Scottish Terrier, Barney, had an official web page and starred in "Barneycam" videos that were filmed from a camera hung around his neck. Like Mrs. Obama, first lady Laura Bush was involved with the video scripts and the taping schedule.

President Lyndon B. Johnson angered animal lovers by lifting his pet beagle, Him, by the ears in front of news photographers.

Obama promised last year to "clean things up a little bit" before leaving the White House in January because the dogs "have been tearing things up occasionally."

Mrs. Obama said her four-legged family members had been nice overall, but she exposed Sunny's naughtier side.

"You know what she does sometimes? She leaves the kitchen and she'll sneak and she'll go poop on the other end of the White House," the first lady said.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Help Find Snickers a Home]]>Sun, 29 May 2016 11:02:57 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/snickers+rabbit.jpgSnickers is looking for a forever home.]]><![CDATA[Hartford Police Help Rescue Fawn]]>Mon, 23 May 2016 11:12:48 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Hartford+Police+rescue+a+fawn+main.JPG

Police in Connecticut's capital city helped rescue a fawn after the baby deer’s mother was hit by a car. 

A resident found the fawn on the highway Sunday next to its mother, which had been struck by a car, according to police. The resident brought the baby to the front door of the Hartford Police Department. 

Images of the encounter show the fawn curled up in the back of a squad car and being held by officers.

Officers cared for the fawn and contacted officials from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, which brought the fawn to a rescue farm.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Drake Needs a Home]]>Mon, 23 May 2016 11:13:04 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Drake_Dog_Needs_a_Home_Pet_Clear_Shelters_1200x675_690639427731.jpgDrake started at the bottom, now he's here and he's looking for a forever home.]]><![CDATA[New Dog Meds to Curb Dogs' Noise-Related Anxiety]]>Thu, 06 Jul 2017 22:17:28 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP_16137623735677-zoetis-dog-anxiety-medicine.jpg

Fido and Spot may not have to cower under the bed this summer when fireworks and thunderstorms hit.

The first prescription veterinary medicine for treating anxiety over loud noises — a widespread problem that can send dogs running away in terror and harm both themselves and property — will soon hit the market.

Veterinary medicine maker Zoetis Inc. of Florham Park, New Jersey, said Monday that recently approved Sileo will be available through veterinarians within a week.

Dr. Chris Pachel, a veterinary behaviorist at the Animal Behavior Clinic in Portland, Oregon, welcomes a medicine tested specifically on dogs that works rapidly but wears off within hours — like by the time a thunderstorm is over.

Dogs are now treated with medicines designed for their human owners or behavioral training, which can be ineffective or come with side effects.

"There's always a need for new options," said Pachel, who has reviewed some testing data on Sileo but isn't affiliated with Zoetis.

Fear of loud noises is a common problem for the 70 million dogs in the U.S. and their owners. Dogs are sometimes so frightened they jump through windows, destroy doors while trying to escape a room or run into traffic and get hit by cars. July 5 is the most common day for frustrated pet owners to drop a dog off at a shelter, according to a Zoetis study.

"I have seen the absolutely worst things that can happen with noise anxiety," Dr. J. Michael McFarland, head of U.S. pet marketing at Zoetis, who formerly worked at multiple animal hospitals.

Current treatments range from human anti-anxiety pills such as Xanax and tranquilizers that sedate dogs for many hours, but don't necessarily calm them, to behavioral treatments. Those include confining the dog to a small room or portable kennel, or trying to desensitize dogs by repeatedly exposing them to increasingly loud noise.

Pachel said those treatments or combinations of them work for many dogs, but the tranquilizers can take days to wear off and anti-anxiety pills — many only tested on people — can cause appetite problems, upset stomach and, rarely, abnormal heartbeats if the dose isn't right.

Sileo works by blocking norepinephrine, a brain chemical similar to adrenaline that pumps up anxiety. It comes in prefilled plastic syringes with a dial for setting a precise dose according to the dog's weight.

The needleless syringe is placed between the dog's gum and lip. A little push ejects a small amount of gel that's absorbed by the tissue lining the dog's cheek, which limits how much circulates in the dog's body at a time while enabling the medicine to start working within 30 to 60 minutes. It works for two to three hours, said McFarland, who said he has used Sileo with good results on his Finnish Lapphund.

Each syringe costs $30 and holds enough medicine for about two doses for an 80- to 100-pound dog or four doses for a 40-pound dog.

Dr. Barbara Sherman, a professor at North Carolina State University who runs its animal behavioral medicine clinic, reviewed detailed data on Sileo while serving on an advisory board at Zoetis and found its effectiveness "impressive." She said side effects were benign and thinks that for some dogs, it will be easier to administer than pills.

Zoetis has exclusive rights to distribute Sileo in the U.S. under an agreement with its developer, Orion Corp. of Finland.

In testing conducted for the company on 182 pet beagles on New Year's Eve, 75 percent of their owners rated its effect good or excellent, compared with 33 percent whose dogs got a placebo. Side effects were rare and minor.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut



Photo Credit: Zoetis via AP]]>
<![CDATA[Bella Needs a Home]]>Fri, 13 May 2016 17:51:30 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/bella+dog+clear+shelters.jpgBella, a pit bull terrier, is ready to find the perfect forever home.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Housebroken Bison for Sale by Texas Owner]]>Fri, 13 May 2016 16:36:59 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Bullet+the+Bison.jpg

An 8-year-old bison named Bullet has outgrown its Texas home and the owner wants to find a new place for the 1,000-pound pet to roam. 

The family posted a Craigslist ad listing Bullet as "for sale" for almost $6,000, as long as the new owner will allow the bison to continue interacting with people. Bullet's owner says the buffalo needs more space and grassland.

According to the ad, originally posted in March, Bullet is housebroken and "perfectly gentle." The post indicated that "if this ad is still showing, the buffalo is still for sale." On Friday afternoon, a link to the post displayed a message stating the post had been flagged for removal. 

"Bullet loves to chase and spar with a riding lawn mower, wheel barrow or even my truck when I'm out in the field. She will follow me when I'm in the truck. She is like a precious gigantic dog herself," the listing said.

It warns that Bullet is still a buffalo, after all, and should never be left alone in the house or with children.

The buffalo is also famous, the ad read, noting Bullet is featured in the children's book "Heaven is for Animals" by Nancy Tillman.

Bullet lives with the family in Argyle, 30 miles northwest of Dallas. 

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut



Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[State Troopers Rescue Dog from I-95]]>Mon, 09 May 2016 23:46:06 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Trooper+Spry+and+dog.jpg

State troopers rescued a dog from Interstate 95 in Fairfield this morning and now the pup's at animal control, waiting for his owner to come forward or for someone to adopt him.

The dog was running in and out of lanes on the northbound side of highway, between exit 23 and 24, just after 7 a.m. 

“We had several 911 calls come in about a roaming K9 on 95 northbound in the area of exit 25,” Trooper Michael Spry, of Connecticut State Police Troop G, said.

When Spry arrived, the dog was in the median, and started running toward police, so troopers shut down the highway for a brief time.

“The dog was running back towards me. I got out of my cruiser, it got a little scared, started out going toward some of the lanes,” Spry said.

Once traffic was stopped, the dog tried hiding under a pickup, but Spry got him and traffic cameras captured the trooper carrying the pooch across the road and into the safety of a cruiser.

“I was just glad to get it off the highway so it didn’t get hurt,” Spry said.

The dog was taken to the barracks and then Fairfield Animal Control got the dog, who they think is 1 to 3 years old.

“Fortunately for this guy, he was seen before he was hit,” Officer Joe Felner, of Fairfield Animal Control, said.

If you recognize the dog, call Fairfield Animal Control at 203-254-4857.

If the dog's owner does not come forward in eight days, he will be put up for adoption.



Photo Credit: Submitted]]>
<![CDATA[Little Bit Likes to Snuggle]]>Fri, 06 May 2016 15:57:30 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Little_Bit_Likes_to_Suggle_Clear_Shelters_Dog_Cat_1200x675_680855107807.jpg]]><![CDATA[Paralyzed Dog Left at Florida Shelter With Note]]>Wed, 04 May 2016 13:48:48 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/NC_paralyzeddog0504_1920x1080.jpgA Florida animal shelter is caring for a paralyzed dog named Genie after her previous owners left her at the shelter with a handwritten note, explaining that the owner could not afford to care for the small pup. "I tried to manage her pain with medication from her vet but they only ease her pain and she needs surgery. I cannot afford so I ask that the Animal Health Center heal her and find her a loving forever home. Thank you," said the note. ]]><![CDATA[Rescued Lions Explore New Home in Sanctuary]]>Tue, 03 May 2016 13:38:47 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP_518985915980-lion-airlift-south-africa-sanctuaries.jpg

Lions rescued from circuses in Colombia and Peru and airlifted to South Africa scratched their manes on trees and explored their new territory in the African bush after being released into a sanctuary north of Johannesburg Sunday.

One of the 33 lions, a male known as Zeus, let out a mighty roar before stepping out of his cage into an enclosure where he will spend the coming months being monitored by a vet.

The lions arrived at the Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary shortly after dawn on Sunday to end a two-day journey from South America.

The lions were freed after the use of wild animals in circuses was outlawed in Peru and Colombia.

It will be impossible for the lions to survive in the wild as they were bred in captivity and their circus owners mutilated many by breaking their teeth and removing their claws. Because they cannot hunt they will be fed game meat and will have water in their enclosures.

"They are remarkably calm after such a long journey," Tim Phillips, the co-founder of Animal Defenders International which led the rescue of the lions told The Associated Press. "It was a dream come true watching them step of those cages into their new homes in the African bush."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Dogs Get Own Bathroom at NY Airport]]>Sat, 30 Apr 2016 13:29:36 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP_16119780722026.jpg

Little Simba couldn't wait to check it out.

The toy poodle was one of the first dogs to try a special bathroom designated just for animals at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, among a growing number of "pet relief facilities" being installed at major air hubs across the nation.

"There's a fire hydrant in there!" Simba's owner, Heidi Liddell, announced as she opened the pawprint-marked door between the men's and women's rooms.

It didn't take long for the dog to sidle up to the little red hydrant atop a patch of artificial turf and do her business. A dispenser of plastic doggie bags and a hose was provided for the owners to clean the area up for the next pet.

The 70-square-foot room, at JFK's sprawling Terminal 4, allows dogs and other animals to relieve themselves without needing to exit the building to find a place to go outside — a step that requires an annoying second trip through the security line.

"We had seen an increase of passengers traveling with pets and we decided to do it sooner rather than later," said Susana Cunha, vice president of the management company that operates the terminal.

Guide and service dogs, emotional support animals and other pets traveling with passengers are all welcome to use the facilities.

A federal regulation will require that all airports that service over 10,000 passengers per year install a pet relief area in every terminal by this August. Airports that already have them include Dulles International outside Washington D.C., Chicago's O'Hare and Seattle-Tacoma International.

"With long flights and short transit time frames, passengers would not have enough time with plane changes to come back through security," said Karen Greis, a consumer services manager for the Guide Dog Foundation, a nonprofit that trains service dogs and participated in the design of the new facility. "Having relief areas inside the terminal is a stress reliever for the handlers."

That was certainly the case for Taylor Robbins, who had already missed one flight from JFK to Atlanta and was unsure if she had enough time to go back outside to find a place to walk her terrier John John.

"It's really clean, it gets the job done and he seemed to understand he could use it," she said after exiting the doggie restroom. "Without this he would have had to hold it in."

Other pet owners were encouraged by the convenience.

Mark Shadowens, from Lake Tahoe, California, peered into the new facility with a smile. He said he and his wife Helen would love to travel with their Jack Russell terrier, Bella, but fears not being able to find a place to let her go to the bathroom.

"We travel with our pet a lot, just not on airlines," Shadowens said. "We like to go see the world and I think we would bring her if there were places like this."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Samson Looking for a Forever Home]]>Fri, 29 Apr 2016 11:47:15 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Samson_Pet_Dog_Clear_the_Shelters_1200x675_676330051745.jpgSamson is our Clear the Shelters Pet of the Week. Will you give him a forever home?]]><![CDATA[Bridge-Running Dog Adopted]]>Fri, 29 Apr 2016 02:19:28 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/BayBridgeDog.jpg

Ponch, the stray Chihuahua who captured hearts around the nation after he sprinted across the Bay Bridge early this month, has finally found a home. 

After being rescued by California Highway Patrol April 3, Ponch went to stay with a foster family connected to San Francisco County's animal services department. His caretakers waited several weeks to see if someone would come forward and claim ownership – Ponch had a collar with a skull dangling from it when he was captured – but no one stepped up.

Instead, offers from animal lovers all over the world came flooding in, asking if it would be possible to give the 10-pound Chihuahua a new home. Animal Care and Control conducted several interviews, according to the department, before settling on a suitable family for Ponch. He was scheduled to go home Thursday, after his rescuers have a chance to bid him farewell.

“Taking into consideration that Ponch is a nervous fellow who loves to run, his new home and family are perfectly suited to give him the happily-ever-after life,” Animal Care and Control said in a statement. The family adopting him wishes to remain anonymous.

Ponch’s story went viral following an early morning police chase that resulted in a short shutdown of the Bay Bridge. The pup, who was visibly frightened, was darting across lanes of traffic.

The California Highway Patrol officers involved in his rescue nicknamed the pup “Ponch,” after Erik Estrada’s character in the 1970s TV hit “CHIPS.”

“We’re happy that Ponch’s story has ended with a loving new home”, says Animal Care & Control Executive Director Virginia Donohue. “We’re grateful for all of the good will Ponch has generated for shelter dogs.”



Photo Credit: CHP San Francisco
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<![CDATA[Biker Dog in UK Gets His Own Yellow Kevlar Coat]]>Thu, 28 Apr 2016 09:45:54 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/kevlardog.jpgBiker Steve Hawley wanted to share his favorite hobby with his dog and bought a yellow kevlar coat for the Labrador, Renee. Kevlar is an ultra-tough synthetic material designed for the toughest tasks; it's regularly used in motorcycle clothing when leather is not convenient.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Kitten Stars of 'Keanu' in Hollywood Spotlight]]>Thu, 28 Apr 2016 07:09:47 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/212*120/KNU-FP-001.jpg

Anyone who's spent time with a cat might agree with filmmaker Peter Atencio when he says cats are the "15-year-olds of the animal kingdom."

Dogs are eager to please their owners. Cats couldn't care less.

But the kittens that play the title tabby in the new action-comedy "Keanu" impressed their human co-stars so much, they've earned permanent places in Hollywood.

"They blew away my expectations," said Atencio, director of "Keanu" and a self-described "crazy cat man" who has three cats, two dogs and a rabbit at home. "They took direction really well."

"Keanu," in theaters Friday, tells the story of Clarence and Rell ("Key & Peele" stars Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele), two mild-mannered guys who pretend to be killer criminals after a gang of thugs steals Rell's kitten, Keanu. The gangsters want to keep the kitten — now wearing gold chains and a tiny do-rag — but Clarence and Rell will do anything, including embracing their inner tough-guys, to get him back.

Seven brown tabbies, all rescued from animal shelters, played Keanu. Trainer Larry Payne said animal roles generally require multiple actors (or, in this case, cat-ctors), as each has its own personality traits that contribute to the onscreen character.

Some kittens are better at hitting marks, for example, while others are particularly skilled at sitting still and being adorable.

"There's the run guy, there's the snuggle guy, there's the meow guy," Key said.

"It's like assembling a team of bank-robbers," Atencio added.

Payne initially trained three kittens to play Keanu, but they aged out halfway through production.

"(They) had gotten big and not really kitten-like anymore," he explained.

He adopted four more kittens to finish the film. All were about eight weeks old when they began their monthlong training.

Besides learning the skills they'd need for their scenes — sit, stay, go from one mark to another — the Keanus had to get used to the noise and commotion of a movie set. Loud sounds typically make cats run and hide.

"It's a little bit easier with the kittens, believe it or not, than with adult cats, because I don't think they know any better," said Payne, who trains all kinds of animals for film and TV roles. "The kittens almost think, 'This is what all kittens do: We work on movies!'"

Payne plied the kitties with treats during training. Repetition and positive reinforcement are key, he said. He uses off-camera buzzers or clickers — which signify food is coming — to summon the cats to their marks.

He also used treats to get them to tolerate the dozen or so costumes Keanu wears. Rell dresses his pet in a little fedora, goggles, a leather jacket, a hoodie and sunglasses, among other things.

When the kittens weren't on screen, they hung out in miniature star trailers: deluxe animal carriers decked out with beds, toys and water. When filming on location in New Orleans, all seven Keanus stayed with Payne in his hotel suite.

Peele, who co-wrote "Keanu," said a cat-napped kitten wasn't part of the film's original premise. He and co-writer Alex Rubens knew the main characters and their squares-in-gangland dilemma, but "it didn't feel like we had something that really justified why we would put ourselves in danger," Peele said. "That's where the kitten came in."

Though he has a dog who sometimes wears outfits ("We got a Burberry outfit and we do have a little beach hoodie. It goes deep."), Peele said they made Keanu a kitten because "we realized there's not a lot of kitten movies."

Payne, too, said he "never had the pleasure of doing an entire kitten movie" in his 30-year career.

Atencio would do one again, saying, "I would love to do a kitten-based horror or thriller."

Maybe he'll call on the kittens formerly known as Keanu? All the film's feline stars are staying in Hollywood. Though one went home with "Keanu" co-star Tiffany Haddish to become a housecat, Payne said the others will continue to act.

He and his colleague, April Mackin, each took two kittens home, and the remaining two live at the California ranch where Payne keeps his menagerie of acting animals.

"The fact that I was able to acclimate them to a movie-set environment when they were real young, they become valuable for us for the future to do that work," he said. "They're provided a great home. We have on-staff vets. And they're very spoiled, much like a normal star would be."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut



Photo Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
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<![CDATA[Dog Helps Save Kids From Fire]]>Thu, 28 Apr 2016 12:08:13 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/maxx2.jpg

A German shepherd helped firefighters find his owners' two young children as flames ripped through the family's central Florida home, authorities said.

The dog, named Maxx, helped crews navigate through thick smoke to find the 4-year-old boy and 2-year-old girl Monday night in their burning home in the Orlando suburb of Longwood, according to the Seminole County Sheriff's Office.

Moments earlier, neighbors who saw the fire spreading called 911, broke windows and helped rescue the children's mother, Margo Feaser, a 12-year veteran of the sheriff's office who currently serves as an auto theft investigator.

Firefighters then were able to rescue Feaser's husband and the two children, with Maxx's help.

Family members were hospitalized and their conditions ranged from serious to critical. Maxx was treated for smoke inhalation and is said to be doing well.

A GoFundMe page has been established to help the family's medical, veterinary, and other housing expenses as they work to recover from the effects of the fire. As of Wednesday morning, more than $11,000 had been raised to help the Feaser family.

In addition to her role with the Seminole County Sheriff's Office, Feaser served three years in the U.S. Army and is a member of the Army National Guard. Her husband is also a military veteran.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut



Photo Credit: Seminole County Fire Department
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<![CDATA[Dogs Hate Being Hugged: Pet Behaviorist]]>Tue, 26 Apr 2016 13:50:29 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-522796761-%281%29.jpg

Most people treat their dogs like family, giving them big, all-encompassing hugs.  

But a new article in Psychology Today says dogs are actually stressed out by this sort of affection. Canine behaviorist Stanley Coren writes that when dogs get hugged, they interpret it differently than humans. 

Signs of stress include a dog turning his head away from whatever is bothering him and closing his eyes. Lowered or slicked-back ears are also a sign or stress, according to Coren. 

But, this doesn't mean you can't love your pup. Coren suggests expressing your affection toward your pet "with a pat, a kind word, and maybe a treat."



Photo Credit: Getty Images/Hero Images]]>
<![CDATA[Orphaned Puppy Adopted Into Litter of Kittens]]>Tue, 26 Apr 2016 13:35:46 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/cat-adopts-puppy.jpg

Families can come in all shapes, sizes and species.

Such is the case with Bobby, a tiny Chihuahua who found himself alone at 5 days old when his mother was struck by a car.

A passerby found him on the side of the road and brought Bobby to Michigan Humane Society, where volunteers struggled to give him the care he needed.

He was too young for solid food and required constant attention.

"The calories and nutrition to keep him healthy and growing need to come from his mom. Bottle feeding can be inconsistent, laborious, and risky, even for those that have the resources and time to do so," the humane society wrote on its website.

But there was one problem. There were no nursing dogs at the shelter.

"They had a mom cat that was recently still nursing and they thought — ingenious idea — to maybe see if this puppy could go along with these guys and see if mommy cat could treat him like one of her own," said humane society employee Faith O'Georgia. "And it actually worked."

Now 5 weeks old, Bobby has several feline siblings, including one small kitten who follows him around.

"You think about Mother Nature and how cats and dogs aren’t supposed to like each other but as we all know at the Michigan Humane Society that’s not always the case and this is certainly an extreme example of that," said Ryan McTigue with the humane society.

Bobby will move to a foster home with other dogs when he's old enough to eat solid food.



Photo Credit: Michigan Humane Society
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<![CDATA[Waffles Needs a Home]]>Fri, 22 Apr 2016 12:50:07 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/waffles+dog.jpgWaffles the dog needs a home.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Presidential Pets Through the Years]]>Mon, 24 Jul 2017 13:22:38 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/ap_940319058.jpgA range of dogs and cats have kept presidential families company through their stay in Washington, including Fala, Franklin D. Roosevelt's Scottish terrier; Socks, the Clintons' cat; and Bo and Sunny, the Obamas' Portuguese water dogs. Take a look back at the pets that have called the White House home.

Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS]]>
<![CDATA[Animal Shelter Opens a Pet Gym in Kentucky ]]>Tue, 19 Apr 2016 11:54:48 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/petgym.jpgAn animal shelter in Kentucky started a pet gym as a way to fund the rescue shelter, but they found they were helping pet owners fill a need -- better exercising obese pets.

Photo Credit: WAVE]]>
<![CDATA[Frostbitten Duck Gets New Feet, Thanks to 3-D Printer]]>Mon, 18 Apr 2016 15:53:13 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Duck-Feet-Lon-NR-146100462528100001.jpg

A duck that lost its feet to frostbite is waddling again thanks to a Wisconsin middle school teacher and a 3-D printer. 

Vicki Rabe-Harrison rescued Phillip the duck and, after watching a video of a 3-D printer online, turned to South Park Middle School teacher Jason Jischke in Oshkosh for help. 

Rabe-Harrison told Green Bay television station WBAY she assessed Phillip's quality of life and was planning to put him down when Jischke called to say he and his class were working on the project. It took them six weeks of trial and error to get the prosthetic feet just right. 

Phillip was a bit wobbly when he first tested his new feet, but he has now joined other birds and animals at a sanctuary in Cedarburg, 20 miles north of Milwaukee.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut

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<![CDATA[Playful Polar Bear Cub Debuts at Ohio Zoo]]>Mon, 18 Apr 2016 11:07:02 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/214*120/Screen+Shot+2016-04-18+at+9.09.52+AM.png

A 5-month-old female polar bear cub has made quite a playful debut at an Ohio zoo.

The cub born in early November frolicked around her enclosure Friday at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and even got an orange traffic cone stuck on her head for a moment.

About 1,000 people lined up to get the first glimpses of the polar bear, named Nora. The cub provided a lot of entertainment and laughter as she swam and bounded around her enclosure.

The cub's twin died shortly after birth, and she has been hand-reared since her mother began neglecting her.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut

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<![CDATA[PD Seeks to Charge Over Ditched Pup]]>Fri, 15 Apr 2016 21:45:00 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/041516_puppyrescue.jpg

The owner of an abandoned 8-week-old pit bull could face charges after admitting he left the puppy on the side of the road earlier this week, according to police in Littleton, Massachusetts.

Police said a hearing for a criminal complaint has been submitted against the owner.

The puppy was found in good health by a motorist and his daughter. The two found the dog wandering around Nashoba Road on Tuesday, where they then flagged down Sgt. David Leslie, who was patrolling the area at the time. The dog was brought to Littleton's Animal Control Officer Phyllis Tower.

Arrangements are being made to put the dog up for adoption.

"The puppy was found in good health and has been placed in safe care until we can find it a forever home," Chief Matthew J. King said in a statement.



Photo Credit: Littleton Police Department ]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Turns Her House Into Cat Sanctuary, Moves Into Trailer]]>Thu, 28 Apr 2016 10:56:28 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/CatLady-GIF.gif

It started with a few kittens. But nearly a quarter century later, a California woman has transformed her 4,000-square-foot home into what's believed to be the largest no-cage cat sanctuary and adoption center in the U.S.

An estimated 24,000 cats have been saved by the sanctuary, which houses up to 1,000 felines at any given time. Lynea Lattanzio set up Cat House on the Kings after finding out that many nearby shelters euthanize cats who aren't adopted.

As more feral and abandoned cats took up residence in her home, she moved out into a trailer on her 12-acre property.

Lattanzio spent her entire retirement fund on her pet project, which also relies on donations.

"If I didn't have to deal with humans and all their drama in life, I would be perfectly content just taking care of cats," she said.

She now has staff and a team of volunteers to keep the house clean and the cats fed. The sanctuary also employs veterinarians who keep the cats healthy and spayed or neutered. The cats lap up about 1,000 cans of cat food a week.

People looking for a furry companion are allowed kitty cuddle time on adoption days.

A cat-proof fence keeps predators out and cat doors allow them free reign of the home.

"They've got this house. They've got 12 acres. They can climb a tree. They can go sit in the sun outside," Lattanzio said. "It just gives these animals a reason to live as opposed to just living in a cage just because no one wants them."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[More Than 600 Pets Adopted for #CleartheShelters!]]>Mon, 17 Aug 2015 16:17:42 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Clear+the+Shelters+1+1200.jpg

The numbers are in and more than 600 pets in the state have new homes thanks to NBC Connecticut's Clear the Shelters event Saturday.

It was part of a nationwide initiative we participated in, Aug. 15, to help animal shelters across Connecticut place all of their dogs, cats and even bunnies with forever homes. Nationally, 17,699 pets were adopted.

Many participating shelters among the 40 shelters or so taking part in the event offered reduced adoption fees.

NBC Connecticut teamed up with the Connecticut Humane Society and numerous shelters in hopes to find your perfect pet match. The Connecticut Humane Society is the leading resource in the state for companion animal welfare, enriching the lives of families and communities through adoption services, medical care, education and prevention of cruelty.

Ellen DeGeneres gave the national event a shoutout on Twitter, tweeting, "It’s Clear the Shelters Day. I hope everyone gets to know the joy of adopting a rescue pet. There’s no better feeling."

At the Connecticut Humane Society in Newington, the lines stretched into the parking lot before Clear the Shelters even started at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Employees there told us Saturday set a record for the most dogs adopted there in one day.

Kevin Moody of Simsbury was first in line looking for a kitten.

"I grew up with a cat my whole life and now that she passed away we kind of want to start a new chapter,"  Kevin Moody, of Simsbury, said.

As the crowd gathered outside, adoptions took place inside -- dogs, cats, and other furry friends finding forever homes. Stephanie Gonzalez adopted a dog there three weeks ago.

"My daughter fell in love with her and then my sister also fell in love with her so now we're here to get one for my sister," Stephanie Gonzalez, of Newington, said of their new pet.

We posted a photo of Pilar, a dog up for adoption through the Connecticut Humane Society, on Facebook before the event started Saturday morning. Great news! Pilar found a new home, already showing a whole lot of love for a new family.

Clear the Shelters also took place in cities across the country with the help of other NBC-owned stations.

In North Haven, while some animals remain there, they say adoptions actually picked up earlier in the week as word of this event spread.

"Because of the publicity we've had a lot more footwork coming in this week. We've had a few animals adopted out this week," Dave Carney, of North Haven Animal Control, said.

By mid-afternoon, all three of the shelter's dogs were adopted, as two cute kittens still waited for new homes.

"It's about getting awareness out to people about the nice dogs that are in shelters," Carney said.

And in Plainville, by early afternoon, the Almost Home rescue organization adopted 14 dogs -- including Lady who headed home with her new owners.

"She kind of came to us. She kind of picked us out of the crowd and wanted to come home with us," Adam Dolce, of Narragansett, Rhode Island, said.

When NBC Connecticut stopped by, just one dog, Woody, and six cats were still looking for new homes.

"We didn't really expect this much enthusiasm, crowds, it was awesome," Meda Talley, of Almost Home, said.

The shelter cleared by the end of the event. So did Ledyard Animal Control and Cats Tales in Middletown.

Humane societies, shelters, and rescues, are all coming together for NBC Connecticut's Clear the Shelters day.

"They want rescue dogs. The rescue dogs appreciate it," Talley said.

"It's a great experience and a great opportunity to get an animal," Moody said.

See how many pets were adopted out of shelters in our nationwide Clear the Shelters event:



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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<![CDATA[New Zoo Exhibit Puts Visitors Nose to Beak With Penguins]]>Fri, 15 Apr 2016 10:51:34 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/PenguinDetroitGIF.gif

A new penguin habitat that the Detroit Zoo calls the world's largest such facility offers its 80-plus residents new rocks for climbing, waves, snow and better ice conditions, while allowing visitors to come nose to beak with the stately birds.

A preview Wednesday showed off the $30 million Polk Penguin Conservation Center, which features an underwater gallery and two acrylic tunnels where visitors can watch four species of penguins swim above, around and below them.

Zoo officials say it's designed to simulate the penguins' native habitat, including optimal air and water temperatures. Zoo CEO Ron Kagan, who made multiple research trips to Antarctica, says the penguins can "do the polar plunge" in the 25-foot-deep aquatic area.

"This is so new, they're still learning this new environment," Kagan said in an interview. "They've never been able to dive this kind of depth. They've never had this kind of opportunity for ice and snow."

Sixty-nine penguins — gentoos, macaronis and rockhoppers — have marched over to their new home, which opens to the public on Monday. Fourteen king penguins will arrive in a bit.

The 33,000-square-foot Polk Center is situated on two acres. In addition to the 326,000-gallon swimming pool, the new inhabitants also have the option of spending time chilling in their spacious above-ground abode that includes expansive windows that allow visitors to see in — and the penguins to see out.

The environment is intended to encourage the same kind of behavior as in the wild, from leaping in and out of the water to nesting and rearing young.

"We've had penguins at the Detroit Zoo for many years, so we know how to feed penguins and keep them healthy," said Scott Carter, the zoo's chief life sciences officer. "What we wanted to make sure we could do here was make sure that we could create an environment in which penguins could really be happy, in which penguins could thrive."

The center's design, inspired by the harsh climate of Antarctica, features an exterior that resembles a towering iceberg with a crevasse and waterfall.

It's "the biggest project that the Detroit Zoo has ever undertaken" Kagan said. A $10 million donation from the Polk Family Fund is the largest gift in the zoo's 88-year history.

The center is free with Detroit Zoo admission, but requires timed-entry passes that are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Great Dane Gets Stuck in Tree]]>Thu, 14 Apr 2016 13:40:51 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/DaneinTree.jpgKora, a 120-pound Great Dane who was stuck 20 feet up a tree in Louisville, Nebraska, was rescued Saturday night by the local fire department.

Photo Credit: WOWT]]>
<![CDATA['Inky' the Octopus Escapes New Zealand Aquarium]]>Thu, 14 Apr 2016 18:48:14 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Inky-AP_287185602729.jpg

Inky the octopus waited until it was dark and the staff had gone home from the National Aquarium of New Zealand before making his move. 

He squeezed and pushed his way through a tiny gap in the mesh at the top of his tank and slithered 2 meters (6.6 feet) to the floor. Then he made a beeline across the room to a drain hole. 

With a body the size of a rugby ball, Inky managed to stretch out and squeeze into the hole. From there, he shimmied down the 50-meter (164-foot) pipe until he was back in the Pacific Ocean.

All he left behind three months ago was a slimy trail, allowing staff at the Napier aquarium to re-create his amazing escape. 

He's not been seen since. 

Inky's story begins on Pania Reef, several hundred yards (meters) out to sea from the aquarium. He was pulled up by a fisherman in a lobster pot and wasn't in good shape. He'd been attacked, probably by a snapper or some other fish, and a couple of his tentacles were half their normal length. 

After a year recuperating at the National Aquarium, said manager Rob Yarrall, Inky was once again in good health. And he'd been delighting the staff with his intelligence. 

"He used to come up and you could hand-feed him," Yarrall said. "He'd grab hold of you with the suckers on his tentacles, or squirt water at you. And he worked out how to screw the top off a jar." 

Yarrall said that since they have no bones, octopuses can squeeze through almost any hole that's larger than their beaks, so the drain hole, 15 centimeters (6 inches) wide, was no great challenge.

After Inky escaped, the aquarium staff figured out what happened, admired his cleverness, wished him the best and went back to work. No one thought to publicize the story until Robyn McLean, communications manager for the Napier City Council, heard about what happened this week. She told a local reporter, and before long she and her small staff had fielded more than 100 calls from international media. 

"It shows how we should never take animals for granted," McLean said. "The humble octopus is a very, very intelligent creature. He thought this one out and he nailed it. So, go Inky."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut



Photo Credit: The National Aquarium of New Zealand via AP]]>
<![CDATA[Runaway Calf Befriends Blind Cow Who Lost Pig Pal]]>Wed, 13 Apr 2016 19:24:19 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/12472334_962445667175962_1075988760580106634_n.jpg

A calf that spent several days on the loose in Massachusetts is the new companion of a blind cow left heartbroken when it lost its playmate of eight years, a spotted pig, according to their caregiver.

The calf was brought on Tuesday to Don't Forget Us Pet Us Sanctuary, in Dartmouth, the home of the blind cow, named Baby.

Baby "had never been by herself for so long. She was all alone," said Debbie Devlin, owner of Don't Forget Us Pet Us Sanctuary.

The escaped cows were destined for the slaughterhouse when they escaped last week, according to Devlin. The other two cows were hit in driving accidents, one dying immediately while the other was severely harmed and subsequently euthanized. But the calf eluded danger.

"She really became a famous escaping calf," Devlin said. "She was on her freedom run."

It was Jennifer Ferreira who originally spotted the missing calf on the side of the road, dusted in snow. Ferreira posted a photo of the missing calf on Facebook, which sparked interest in the small community, the shelter said in a Facebook post. Local news stations and the Dartmouth Police Department tracked the calf, which was eventually returned to the livestock yard, but not for long.

Jean Briggs, a supporter of the sanctuary's, saw stories about its escape and called up Devlin on Thursday to find out if she was interested in the calf. Devlin was, so Briggs used her tax refund to buy the calf from Robinson's for $450, Devlin said. She turned the calf over to the sanctuary on Tuesday.

Devlin said the timing is perfect. The cow at her shelter, named Baby, lost her companion pig, Lulu, on Sunday.

"She would walk frantically in circles, mooing away," Devlin said.

That soon changed. Within seconds of arriving at her pen, adjacent to Baby's, the corralled calf burst through the 8 foot-tall gate to be beside Baby, Devlin said, leaving the gate off its hinges.

"She ran to the blind cow and hasn't left its side," Devlin said.

Devlin has owned Baby for 10 years and the sanctuary is home to many animals that people either don't want or can't afford to keep, according to Devlin. Don't Forget Us Pet Us also has a duck with no feet, a one-eared chinchilla and more. The pig, Lulu, became Baby's companion after horses and ponies proved too aggressive for the bovine.

"It was so helpful having the pig to be able to show her when we had to move things around or make changes," Devlin said.

This duty will now likely fall on the calf that has taken to Baby, Devlin said.

The sanctuary still hasn't named the calf — Devlin said she is considering running a naming contest on the Don't Forget Us Pet Us Sanctuary Facebook page. The sanctuary also plants to raise funds for "super strong fencing" for the calf.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut



Photo Credit: Courtesy Don't Forget Us Pet Us
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<![CDATA[Coyote Found Shot Gives Birth to 5]]>Wed, 13 Apr 2016 20:03:48 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/coyote-split.jpg

First, rescuers realized the emaciated coyote they pulled from the bottom of an empty reservoir in Southern California was blind from being shot between the eyes. Then, the rescuers found the near-death animal was pregnant.

After a monthlong regimen of care, including intravenous fluids and vitamins, the coyote gave birth at an animal hospital to a litter of five healthy puppies.

Julia Di Sieno of the Animal Rescue Team in Solvang found the coyote in the reservoir after a call came into her hotline Feb. 11. The coyote was bleeding and having trouble breathing.

Di Sieno climbed down 30 feet into the stone-and-mortar reservoir and loaded the wounded animal onto a gurney. She named it Angel.

Examinations revealed Angel had been shot between the eyes, and the bullet blinded her. The coyote then likely wandered the Santa Ynez Valley north of Santa Barbara for days or weeks until she tumbled into the reservoir, Di Sieno said.

"What this animal endured is beyond comprehension," Di Sieno told the Los Angeles Times for a story Wednesday. "When she had puppies, I didn't know whether to cry in sadness or for joy."

She plans to care for the puppies until they are mature enough to be released in the surrounding mountains. Di Sieno hopes to keep Angel as a surrogate mother for young coyotes that her nonprofit rescues. But first she has to persuade the state Department of Fish and Wildlife not to euthanize it. In California, possession of a coyote is illegal unless permitted by the state.

Fish and Wildlife spokesman Andrew Hughan told the Times the agency is looking for a reasonable solution.

"The department appreciates Julia and the rescue team's efforts to save this coyote and other wildlife," he said. "We've worked closely with her over the years and appreciate her passion for rescuing imperiled wildlife."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut



Photo Credit: Courtesy Animal Rescue Team]]>
<![CDATA[Cat Crosses Mexico Border in Fender]]>Wed, 13 Apr 2016 16:19:36 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Cat+under+fender.JPG

A cat that became trapped in the front fender of a car unwittingly took a trip from Mexico to Oceanside in Southern California.

The Oceanside Fire Department posted video on its Facebook page showing firefighters rescuing the cat on March 21.

The person who alerted firefighters said he drove from Mexico to his home in Oceanside — about 54 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border — apparently not knowing about the cat.

Loud meowing alerted him to the whiskered stowaway tucked beneath the vehicle.

A firefighter wearing gloves is seen in the video pulling the cat free from beneath the front fender of the car. The cat then loudly meows and tries to dart away.

Fire officials said the animal was taken to the humane society.

It wasn’t clear how the cat got beneath the bumper.



Photo Credit: Oceanside Fire Department/Facebook
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<![CDATA[Kitten Stuck in Wall]]>Wed, 13 Apr 2016 13:34:03 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/041216+bso+saves+kitten+deerfield+beach.jpg

Firefighters have rescued a kitten that was trapped inside the wall of a South Florida home, bringing an end to a family's confusion about where a certain meowing sound was coming from.

Broward County Sheriff's Office Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles said several firefighters on Monday safely removed the small gray kitten after cutting a hole through the wall in the Deerfield Beach family's living room. The kitten didn't appear to be injured.

It's unclear how the feline became trapped. Jachles said a neighborhood cat must have had a litter in the home's attic, with the kitten then somehow falling down into the wall.

The Miami Herald reports that the family adopted the kitten and named it Hugo, after one of the firefighters who rescued it, Hugo de Almeida.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut



Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office
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<![CDATA[Missing Dog Found Dead in Owner's Stolen Car]]>Wed, 13 Apr 2016 12:49:55 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Dog+Left+to+Die+in+Stolen+Car.pngAn Oregon man's dog was found dead inside his stolen car on Tuesday, April 12, 2016. Kona, a Great Dane and black lab mix, was inside Bill Robbins' car when it was stolen last week in Portland.

Photo Credit: KGW]]>
<![CDATA[Canine Food Truck: Chicken Feet, Pumpkin Pretzels and 'Pupcakes']]>Wed, 13 Apr 2016 10:56:04 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP_16104212190147-barkery-barkery-th.jpg

Stand on any block around lunchtime near Amazon.com's downtown Seattle headquarters and there are two common sights: people walking their dogs and people buying lunch at food trucks.

The scene offers a window into Seattle's infatuations with dogs (and cats), which outnumber children here, and the maturing roaming food truck market.

Now, one truck is combining both by catering to humankind's best friend.

"It kind of seems natural that now that we've conquered the people food truck market that we bring that to our faithful furry friends," Janelle Harding said.

Harding is a customer of The Seattle Barkery, a food truck that serves dogs and their owners in Seattle-area dog parks, office building parking lots, farmer's markets and private events. It rolled into operation 10 months ago.

"There is definitely a market for more things like that, where human and canine activities are combined. You don't want to always leave them at home or leave them in the car," said Dawn Ford, who owns and operates the truck with her husband, Ben.

By Ford's count, their truck is one of just a handful in the country that caters to canines. The concept is new and rare enough that dogless people occasional misunderstand and purchase a treat.

"They end up ordering something, and they seem weirded out by it," Ford said.

Popular offerings include air-fried chicken feet and duck neck, cupcakes with bacon, rebranded "pupcakes," mini cheesy doughnuts, pumpkin pretzels and peanut butter-banana cookies.

"Peanut butter is like a must," Harding said after buying treats for her pug, Stella.

Ford worked at one of Seattle's dog-friendly bars, then became a dog walker and began cooking her own treats for customers following a rash of product recalls.

"All of our treats are soft," she said. "All of our treats aren't filled with ingredients you can't pronounce."

Giving dogs homemade treats rather than processed ones is deeply important to Ford.

"What we feed our animals reflects their health," Ford said. "Animals' lives are short. If we can feed them good quality products, why wouldn't you?"

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[App Releases Top Pet Names]]>Tue, 12 Apr 2016 09:04:13 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Corgi-GettyImages-512536165.jpg

Looking to adopt a new furry companion?

In honor of National Pet Day on Monday, social media app Nextdoor released a report on top pet names across the country and by animal.

For the Southwestern states, including California, that name is Lucy. Coincidentally, Lucy is the top names for cats.

Bella, the most popular pet name in the Pacific Northwest, also earned the top name for dogs.

In a similar list released last month, Nextdoor also named Bella the top dog name in San Diego County, followed by Lucy, Buddy, Max, Molly, Daisy, Bailey, Lola, Rocky and Chloe.

National Pet Day started in 2006 to celebrate the joy of animals and to draw light to those in need of permanent homes.

Data for the list was compiled from Nextdoor member profiles that included pet information. 

Here’s a look at the full Nextdoor map of most popular names:



Photo Credit: Getty Images/Moment RF
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<![CDATA[6-Year-Old Girl Rescues Trapped Ducklings]]>Wed, 13 Apr 2016 04:28:29 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/222*120/04.10.16_Mia-Rescued-Ducklings.JPG

Eight ducklings separated from their mom and dad after falling down a narrow Southern California drainage pipe found their hero in a brave 6-year-old Laguna Niguel girl who came to their rescue.

Mia Rabii and her mother, Skye, were in Laguna Hills Saturday afternoon when they were flagged down by another family, who had come upon the mother duck with a lone duckling. The father was nearby.

The family had located the other ducklings down a narrow pipe, but no one had arms small enough to reach down and pull them out.

Mia said, "I can do it," according to her mom, and reached down the pipe all the way to her shoulders and pulled out the eight ducklings one by one, reuniting them with their anxious mother.

Mia, who is going to be Student of the Week at school, wants to be a veterinarian.



Photo Credit: Courtesy Skye Rabii
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<![CDATA[Your Photos: National Pet Day]]>Mon, 11 Apr 2016 17:52:13 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*160/a6a9752faca34039b87ae0eac6fde2ae.jpgA look at your pets on National Pet Day.

Photo Credit: Chelsey tine]]>
<![CDATA[Dog Found With Muzzle Taped Shut]]>Sat, 09 Apr 2016 17:07:01 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/040916dog.jpg

Authorities are offering a reward for information leading to the conviction of the person who taped a dog's muzzle shut then abandoned it on a New York highway.

The male German shepherd was found Saturday on Montauk Highway in Lindenhurst, said the Suffolk County SPCA, which is offering a $2,000 reward.

"To leave this dog unable to eat or drink, abandoned and frightened on a busy road is heartbreaking," organization chief Roy Gross said in a statement.

Gross said the dog, estimated to be 2 or 3 years old, is in good health and very social.

"I can say whoever did this is a truly heartless individual," Gross told NBC News.

The Babylon Animal Shelter picked up the dog and is now caring for it.

]]>
<![CDATA[Nugget of Cuteness]]>Fri, 08 Apr 2016 14:15:54 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/nugget+the+rabbit_1200.jpgNugget the bunny is looking for a forever home.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Baby Bear Rescued From Brush Fire]]>Fri, 08 Apr 2016 11:25:16 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/040816+baby+bear+saved+from+fire.jpg

Firefighters in central Florida helped save a crying bear cub while fighting a brush fire on Thursday.

The roughly 250-acre fire took place in the rural Royal Trails section of Lake County. Multiple homes had to be evacuated.

A resident heard the bear crying and firefighters went back into the brush to rescue him, according to Lake County public information officer Elisha Pappacoda.

According to NBC affiliate WESH in Orlando, Lake County Fire Rescue contained the fire and was in the "mop-up" phase when they found the cub.

"We do have a lot of Florida black bears in the area. But, this [baby bear] is not something you see every day. The tips of his fur on his face were singed. Firefighters held onto him until Fish and Wildlife came," Pappacoda said. 

Nicknamed "SJ" — for Smokey Jr. — by the fire department, the cub's paws and face were burned and his mama bear was long gone.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was called to evaluate the cub. "SJ" was in a veterinarian's care Friday morning. Pappacoda said the cub is doing fine and recovering from the minor burns. 



Photo Credit: Lake County Fire Rescue]]>
<![CDATA[Wayward Sea Lion Returns to Ocean]]>Tue, 19 Apr 2016 07:07:00 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Marina+sea+lion+return.jpg

Amid cheers by those who rescued her, Marina, the wayward sea lion that ended up in a La Jolla restaurant booth two months ago, was returned to the ocean off California on Tuesday.

SeaWorld animal care workers boated out several miles off the coast of San Diego to return Marina and several other rehabilitated sea lions.

One by one, the animals waddled to the back of the boat and dove in, swimming away as the rescue workers looked on.

The chef of The Marine Room Restaurant, where Marina was found curled up in a booth in February, joined SeaWorld workers to free the pup.

Chef Bernard Guillas had snapped photos of the pup when he found she had sneaked in to his restaurant and posted the photos on social media. They have since gained thousands of likes and comments.

Guillas said he’s seen dramatic progress in Marina’s health since she was rescued. She’s gained 25 pounds and shows signs she can forage for food in the wild.

“When she arrived, she was frail,” Guillas said. “She’s back in the ocean, in the big blue, and she’s going to enjoy life now.”

Jody Westberg, the park’s Stranded Animal coordinator, said Tuesday it was an emotional experience returning Marina to her natural habitat, and she’s confident the sea lion will survive and thrive.

“She’s a feisty, sassy animal,” Westberg said.



Photo Credit: SeaWorld]]>
<![CDATA[Officer Saves Family Dog]]>Tue, 19 Apr 2016 05:45:00 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/216*120/bailey_rescued.jpg

A police officer in Southern California was credited with saving the life of a cherished family dog that was bitten in the face by a rattlesnake.

Dispatchers received a call around 4:20 p.m. Monday from a frantic girl who said her family's 11-year-old chocolate Labrador, Bailey, had been bitten by the rattlesnake while playing in the backyard, according to the La Verne Police Department.

Officers Chris Dransfeldt and Greg Rodriguez responded to the home in North La Verne, an area near the foothills where rattlesnake sightings are common, police said.

According to police, Bailey had suffered a bite near one of his eyes and his face was swelling in reaction to the venom. The 17-year-old girl told Dransfeldt that Bailey was like a child to her parents, who would be devastated if the dog died.

The girl had no means of transportation and her mother could not leave work, police said. It might have been too late by the time she got there anyway, so Dransfeldt sprang into action.

The officer, a dog lover himself, took Bailey to the nearest veterinary hospital in La Verne. Workers told Dransfeldt the only animal hospital that carried anti-venom was located in the nearby town of Upland, so Dransfeldt put Bailey in the back seat of his cruiser.

Bailey whimpered in pain from the bite as Dransfeldt rushed him to the VCA Animal Hospital in Upland, according to the La Verne Police Department. Veterinarians administered an anti-venom medication, as well as fluids, to help save Bailey's life.

The dog stayed overnight at the hospital and was released Tuesday morning to his family. He was recuperating and is expected to recover, police said.



Photo Credit: La Verne Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Wayward Sea Lion Blocks Traffic]]>Tue, 05 Apr 2016 09:53:09 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/sea+lion3.jpg

A wayward sea lion wandered into the road Monday morning in Sonoma County, California, stalling traffic as drivers gawked and crews from the Marine Mammal Center worked to move the animal from harm's way.

The sea lion's expedition blocked the eastbound route of Highway 37 at the junction of California State Route 121, by the railroad tracks. Traffic was at a standstill at 10 a.m., according the California Highway Patrol.

The area — near Skaggs Island and the San Pablo Bay, in the middle of Novato and Vallejo — is the same spot where a 900-pound elephant seal was stranded in December 2015. The seal had to be tranquilized and corralled after it tried to cross Highway 37.

According to the police log, an off-duty officer chased the sea lion before experts from the Marine Mammal Center arrived. The agency tweeted a picture of the sea lion before it emerged from the water.

Center spokesman Giancarlo Rulli said his agency's rescue crews actually know this sea lion, and had previously nicknamed it "School Daze," a young male who had been at the center several times and treated for malnutrition. Doctors also had determined that this sea lion suffers from neurological damage, possibly because of past domoic acid exposure, the same toxin that caused the most recent Dungeness crab fishing season in California to be delayed.

School Daze is one of more than 80 young California sea lions currently at the Sausalito, Calif. center —more than four times the average normally this time of year, making this the fourth year in a row that California sea lions have been in crisis.

“After four years of sea lions in crisis, the initial shock of seeing so many starving sea lions is over and now we’re really starting to worry about long-term impacts on the population as a whole,” Dr. Shawn Johnson, director of veterinary science at the center said in a statement.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that from January to May 2015, California sea lion strandings were more than 10 times the average.

Nearly 600 sea lions pups and yearlings were stranded in California in March, according to NOAA, though that was nearly half the number reported stranded in March 2015. NOAA scientists say it’s likely that a change in the availability of the animals’ prey, like sardines, is affecting nursing mothers.



Photo Credit: California Highway Patrol]]>
<![CDATA[67 Pups Saved From Freezing Van]]>Tue, 05 Apr 2016 14:06:29 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/DSC_00036.jpg

New Jersey police officers saved 67 puppies from a near-freezing van early Monday morning, authorities said.

Paramus police officers spotted the Freightliner Sprinter van parked in the back of the Just Pups store on state Route 17 in Paramus about 3 a.m., according to police. Cops later determined the van belonged to the owner of the Just Pups store. 

When officers approached the van, they heard dogs whining and smelled an odor of urine and feces coming from the vehicle.

They opened an unlocked door, saw the dogs covered in feces and called animal control, authorities said. It was later determined the temperature inside the van was about 38 degrees.

Fifteen dogs needed medical attention and were taken to Oradell Animal Hospital, police said.

The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Animal Cruelty Task Force is investigating.

The owner of the Paramus Just Pups store, Vincent LoSacco, was charged with 267 counts of animal cruelty in late February for alleged poor conditions at the East Brunswick outpost of the store. The location later had its business license revoked by the town.

Reached after those charges were filed, LoSacco said they were baseless and that an officer who issued him the summons has a personal vendetta against him. He later posted a video to Facebook saying he had been unfairly targeted.

The Paramus location had also been the target of investigations and complaints before Monday, authorities said.

LoSacco, who owns multiple Just Pups locations throughout the Garden State, couldn't be reached for comment Monday. An employee who claimed to be LoSacco's son declined to comment on the case to NBC 4 New York. 

It's not clear if charges will be filed in the case.



Photo Credit: Paramus Police]]>
<![CDATA[America's 10 Favorite Dog Breeds ]]>Thu, 28 Apr 2016 08:54:00 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/10-ShihTzu.jpgAmerica’s top 10 favorite dog breeds include the pug, the Lab and the little Shih Tzu. PetBreeds, which runs a pet search engine, analyzed the country's most popular dog breeds based on average user rating and total number of reviews for each breed, filtering out doggies who had fewer than 40 reviews. Here are the results.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/EyeEm]]>
<![CDATA[Dog Surfs It Up for Charity]]>Tue, 12 Apr 2016 17:18:02 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/french-surf-bulldog.jpg

With summer on the horizon, Southern California waves are beckoning a slew of Angelenos, including a French bulldog who has made surfing her charitable hobby.

Cherie, the 5-year old Frenchie, literally started from the bottom after being left at a dog shelter by a family who could not take care of her.

Cherie was placed into the French Bulldog Rescue Network at a very young age. That's where she was rescued by a Newport Beach couple with great love for Frenchies.

Under the care of Amy and Dan Nykolayko, Cherie made frequent trips to Rosie's Dog Beach in Long Beach where they saw how much Cherie enjoyed the water and wearing a life jacket. After her owners learned of dog surfing lessons in Del Mar, Cherie began her surfing career.

In 2013, Cherie began competing, not only for her own, but for dogs across the nation. With the help of the Nykolaykos, Cherie has raised nearly $7,000 since 2013 for rescue organizations by participating in many canine surfing competitions.

"Surfing is crazy, awesome fun but it is very important to me to help raise money for animals in need at all of the events that I compete in," reads Cherie's mission statement on her website. "Many dogs aren't as lucky as I am so I do my very best to give back every year."

Cherie won first place in the medium dog category at the 2015 Surf Dog-A-Thon and has placed in many competitions for her fundraising efforts as well. She has appeared at the All-Star Dog Rescue Celebration as well as on Nightline and Good Morning America.

The Nykolaykos, who do everything from coordinating Cherie's outfits to surfing alongside her, are both fundraising coordinators at the French bulldog Rescue Network where Cherie was placed before finding her forever home with them. 



Photo Credit: Dan Nykolayko]]>
<![CDATA[Chihuahua Rescued on Calif. Bridge]]>Mon, 04 Apr 2016 09:48:06 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/runaway+puppy.jpg

California Highway Patrol officers gave chase to an unlikely suspect early Sunday — a Chihuahua.

A driver reported the dog on westbound Bay Bridge just after 7 a.m., according to Officer Vu Williams, a spokesman for CHP San Francisco. 

CHP units noticed the small dog on the bridge's north side catwalk heading toward San Francisco, prompting an officer to stop traffic.

A motorcycle officer tried to go over to the Chihuahua and pick it up, but it bolted onto the Bay Bridge, Williams said. A video on the CHP San Francisco Twitter page shows a motorcycle officer pursuing the dog as it scampered across multiple lanes.

The black Chihuahua kept running away from officers who were trying to safely capture it so a motorcycle officer and others in a patrol car boxed in the wayward dog, Williams said. One officer distracted the animal with a jacket while another scooped it up. 

The rescue lasted roughly five minutes, according to Williams. 

CHP officers also shared a photograph of the Chihuahua being carried by one of their colleagues. A skull is dangling from the dog's black collar, but Williams said it doesn't contain any identifying information.

The dog has been picked up by the San Francisco County's Department of Animal Care and Control, whose employees nicknamed it "Ponch," after Erik Estrada's character in the 1970s TV hit, "CHiPs." Officials are going to use a scanner to ascertain if it has a microchip in it, Williams said.

Officials are seeking the public's assistance in reuniting the Chihuahua with its owner. If it isn't claimed in seven days, it will be put up for adoption.

This dog isn't the first animal to prompt a brief closure of the Bay Brige. Williams said turtles, seals and a litany of other animals have caused traffic jams in the past. 

Anyone with information is asked to call 415-554-6364.



Photo Credit: CHP San Francisco
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<![CDATA[Dog Rescued After Week in Storm Drain]]>Fri, 01 Apr 2016 15:47:03 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Dog-GettyImages-100394559.jpg

Firefighters outside Charleston, West Virginia, have rescued a dog believed to have been stuck in a storm drain for nearly a week.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that Pinch residents on Thursday found a dog stuck in an underground storm pipe. The neighbors had been hearing the dog's barks for days but had been unable to locate the canine.

With the help of a West Virginia American Water crew, members of the Pinch Fire Department dug up concrete and cut the pipe in order to free Mater, a 14-year-old beagle mix who had been missing since March 25.

The dog was taken to a veterinarian and is safely back with his owners, who say they're planning to install a fence.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut



Photo Credit: Getty Images/File
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<![CDATA[Rosie Needs a Home]]>Fri, 01 Apr 2016 13:23:42 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/rosie+clear+shelters.jpgRosie is this week's Clear the Shelter Pet of the Week.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Pig Saved From Dinner Table]]>Tue, 12 Apr 2016 17:16:18 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/181*120/12923144_10154021408273798_8038226485201047208_n.jpg

An unwanted pet pig got a new lease on life after ending up at the butcher.

"Luckily, the butcher could tell that Missy belonged in a home and not on the dinner table so she was brought to the New Hampshire SPCA for safe shelter and a second chance," the SPCA wrote in a Facebook post March 30.

Missy, a 3-year-old pot-bellied pig who is now up for adoption, is used to living in a house and loves to sleep under the covers with her human counterparts, according to the animal shelter. She is litter box trained and knows how to sit. 

The rescue operation said Missy has been going for walks and spending time outside with staff members — and she's learning how to walk on a leash. 

"She is one smart gal and would love a family to keep her mentally engaged!" the SPCA wrote on its website.

In a Facebook update posted April 1, the SPCA said thousands of people have shared Missy's picture and passed along information about her original home.

"And because so many people have responded, we will surely be able to find homes more quickly for other pot-bellied pigs when they are surrendered here, which happens more frequently than people might think!" the agency wrote.

To learn more about adopting Missy, call 603-772-2921 ext. 124 or visit the New Hampshire SPCA website.



Photo Credit: New Hampshire SPCA
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<![CDATA[Puppies Help Save Starving Mom]]>Fri, 01 Apr 2016 10:34:43 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Princesspic.jpg

Puppy siblings Calvin and Jordan likely saved their mother’s life two weeks ago.

The puppies ran loose in Gaithersburg, Maryland, on March 14, and bystanders called the Montgomery County Animal Services, authorities said.

When an officer arrived, he found more than just the the puppies’ home — their mother, Princess, was in critical condition.

Princess, a Catahoula mix, had no food or shelter and only a small container of dirty water to drink. Animal services said she weighed just 29 pounds, when she should weigh about 50-65 pounds.

The officer took all three dogs to Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center, where Princess is still recovering.

Since she arrived at the center two weeks ago, Princess has gained over 12 pounds and begun to trust and open up to people, despite the abuse she endured.

"She can be seen in the veterinary office wagging her tail hopefully as staff pass by, and leaning up against people who come to visit her," the adoption center wrote in a press release.

Owner Allyn Tyrone Meeks was charged with one misdemeanor count for failure to provide veterinary care, shelter and food. Meeks faces up to 90 days in jail or a $1,000 fine, if convicted. It's not clear if Meeks has hired an attorney.

Princess and her two puppies are now up for adoption. For more information about adopting the dogs, call the adoption center at 240-773-5900.



Photo Credit: Montgomery Country Animal Services and Adoption Center]]>
<![CDATA[Dog With Cancer Lives Bucket List]]>Tue, 12 Apr 2016 17:16:28 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/bucket4.jpg

A Michigan dog diagnosed with terminal cancer after his owner died is now living out a bucket list of "everything a dog should do before they cross the rainbow bridge."

Loren Cazan, a volunteer at Rejoyceful Animal Rescue in Mount Clemens, adopted the 14-year-old Lab mix named Buddy after his owner suddenly passed away.

"The family had contacted the rescue and asked if we could take him cause they didn’t want him to end up at a shelter," said Michelle Heyza, founder Rejoyceful Animal Rescue. "He was very depressed when he came in."

Rescuers took the dog to a vet, where tests revealed Buddy had mast cell cancer.

"He has a tumor on his side, and a bunch of small tumors all over his body," Heyza said. "He’s not in the position at 14 years old to have the tumors removed. He wouldn’t survive surgery." 

Heyza called the vet visit a "blow" because there was nothing the workers could do. She called Buddy the "most lovable dog you could ever meet."

"There’s not a person or thing he didn’t like that he didn’t meet, which made his diagnosis all the more hard to hear," she said, adding, "So we created a bucket list of everything a dog should do before they cross the rainbow bridge. It was to celebrate his life and have fun with him before he goes."

A series of photos show items on the pup’s bucket list, including: get adopted, chase a flock of geese, become a businessman, get a job, eat a "pup cup" with his best friends and "being a total chick magnet surrounded by a bunch of chicks!"

"We hope that people will adopt other senior dogs and help them live out a bucket list," Heyza said.



Photo Credit: Rejoyceful Animal Rescue
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<![CDATA[73 Dogs Saved From Tx. Puppy Mill]]>Tue, 12 Apr 2016 17:16:37 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Stephens-Co-Puppy-Mill-07.jpg

Seventy-three neglected dogs were rescued from an alleged puppy mill in Stephens County after being found in filthy, cramped conditions, according to the Humane Society of North Texas.

HSNT said the owners were breeding Australian shepherds, border collies, German shepherds and Labrador retrievers. The animals were housed in three areas that did not provide suitable living conditions.

"The conditions these dogs were living in were absolutely horrific," said Kim Meek, lead humane investigator for HSNT. "It was clear that the owners had become overwhelmed. There were so many dogs living inside the house that the owners had actually moved into a travel trailer in the yard. More dogs were living in the attached garage and two large buildings. Even worse, there were several dogs crammed into wire pop up crates. In many of the enclosures, more than 6 inches of feces covered the floors."

The Stephens Count Animal Shelter was awarded custody on Monday of all 73 dogs — including three nursing mothers. The shelter was unable to care for the large number of animals and signed custody of 60 dogs over to HSNT.

HSNT gave the dogs medical examinations and treated them for parasitic infections. Two of the puppies tested positive for parvovirus; one died and the other is being treated by a veterinarian.

"Puppies born in puppy mills frequently contract life-threatening diseases such as parvovirus and distemper as a result of the squalor they live in," said HSNT veterinarian Dr. Cynthia Jones. "Sadly, many do not live to see their first birthday."

A male miniature Australian shepherd, named Ranger by the HSNT staff, needs ear ablation. HSNT said it doesn't know what caused Ranger's deformity, but without the surgery, he will have chronic ear infections and ear pain. According to the HSNT, the surgery would remove his ear canal and sew it shut, allowing him to live a healthy, comfortable life.

HSNT is seeking donations from animal lovers in the community to provide Ranger with surgery and to help fund the care of the 60 dogs in its care until they are able to find loving homes.

Donations can be made at www.hsnt.org, by calling 817-332-4768, or by mail at 1840 E. Lancaster Ave., Fort Worth, TX 76103.

The rescued dogs will remain at the HSNT holding facility until they are cleared to undergo spay and neuter surgeries and then enter the adoption program.



Photo Credit: Humane Society of North Texas]]>
<![CDATA[Special Explores Program for 2nd Chance Dogs]]>Wed, 30 Mar 2016 13:02:51 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP_19533597227.jpg

Animal Planet will soon celebrate the success of a unique program aimed at second chance dogs, often shy and traumatized victims of puppy mills, hoarders and abandonment.

In an hour-long special, the network delves into the Behavior Rehabilitation Center at St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center in Madison, New Jersey. It's a pilot program of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals that began in 2013 and will soon be expanded, in time for the ASPCA's 150th anniversary.

Called "Second Chance Dogs," to air April 16 (9 a.m. Eastern), the Animal Planet show starts at the center's beginning, when the ASPCA decided to try rehabilitation for hard luck cases.

Of 259 dogs sent to the center since it opened, 185 have graduated. Of those, 170 were adopted and the majority is doing quite well, said Kristen Collins, a certified applied animal behaviorist who oversees the project and will be the director of a new facility planned as part of the expansion.

Not all the dogs were success stories. Thirteen were deemed inappropriate for the program, including those with health issues, and 28 failed to graduate after months in the program. Some of those were sent back to the shelters where they came from and some had to be euthanized.

But the ASPCA stands firmly behind the center. It will continue to move dogs through St. Hubert's until a new $9 million, 35,000-square-foot facility is finished in mid-2017 in Weaverville, North Carolina.

"While we can't yet answer all of the questions associated with rehabilitating at-risk animals, we continue to witness amazing transformations, dogs that conquer their anxiety and fear despite years of devastating behavioral damage. These transformations change the trajectory of their lives," said Matthew Bershadker, president and CEO of the ASPCA.

Nearly every animal shelter in the country has a shy dog or two, Collins said. The new rehab center will have a dormitory that can accommodate visiting staff bringing in dogs from shelters or seeking training on how to handle their own loads. Shelters will not be charged for sending dogs or staff to the center, she said.

The human training will be offered because the ASPCA feels it's just as important to teach shelter workers around the country how to gain the trust of severely traumatized dogs as it is to rehabilitate the animals, Bershadker said.

"Collecting this insight and sharing it will enable all of us to move more vulnerable dogs from peril to safety," he said.

Collins said the center was the first dedicated solely to abused or neglected dogs. Her dogs, Wink, Juno and Toefu, are part of its workforce as "helper" dogs. They made it into the documentary, done by the production company Dog Files under ASPCA supervision.

Kathryn Klumpp of Watchung, New Jersey, is the proud owner of one of the center's graduates. She adopted Mary Ann after the dog was transferred from rehab to the Butler Town Pound. The mutt, believed to be around 2, adjusted quickly to life with her new family, Klumpp said. Her husband, sons (ages 11 and 13), two other dogs and a cat all made it work.

"When she came home, the family could only scratch her under her chin where she could watch them. Now, they can scratch her back." Klumpp said. "That's how much she has come to trust all of us."

While things went quite smoothly, the family made one serious change: "So now her name is Hope."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Partially Blind Steer Saved]]>Tue, 12 Apr 2016 17:16:48 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Oatmeal-Blind-Steer.jpg

A partially blind steer that was among the winners of the Fort Worth Stock Show has avoided slaughter after critics decried plans to butcher the animal.

Oatmeal was recently moved to an undisclosed ranch after stock show officials stepped in to help save him, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Saturday.

Kendyll Williams, 13, of Huntsville, raised and showed the steer at this year's Fort Worth Stock Show and a buyer paid $8,000. Then an online effort began to save the animal diagnosed with cataracts.

On Feb. 11, Matt Brockman, the show's publicity manager, hauled Oatmeal to the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in College Station for examination.

"He loaded like a champ and hauled like a champ," Brockman said Friday. "It was clear that he had functional eyesight, and in my opinion, this steer could have entered the food system. ... I've worked with totally blind steers, and this steer wasn't that."

Oatmeal was moved to his new home after being examined at Texas A&M.

"It was established by our board certified ophthalmologist that the steer is not completely blind and does have partial vision, although cataracts are present in both eyes," Dr. Eleanor Green, dean of the veterinary college, said in an email to the Star-Telegram on Friday.

Brockman said young exhibitors at the Fort Worth Stock Show are learning about the industry and providing a safe food supply, knowing fully their animals will end up in the slaughterhouse.

"A young livestock show exhibitor knows the animal they raise to show will someday enter the food system. ... The youth participants are fully aware that at some point their 'project' will be processed and enter the food system," Brockman said in a previous email to the newspaper. "They're helping feed the world."

Renee King-Sonnen, founder of the Rowdy Girl Sanctuary in Angleton, which sought to save Oatmeal, said volunteers collected about $12,000 for the animal's care.

"I'm happy if he's really safe, I just don't understand all the secrecy," King-Sonnen said. "I just hope he never, ever, ever sees a slaughterhouse."

The money raised for the steer will now go toward scholarships for young people who indicate they have a change of heart about showing and selling livestock for slaughter, she said. 

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut



Photo Credit: Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences]]>
<![CDATA[Dog's Emotional Reunion With Owner]]>Fri, 25 Mar 2016 16:27:13 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/032516+chloe+mary+jane+collier+county+department+of+animal+services.jpg

A Facebook video showing a Florida dog owner's emotional reunion with his stolen dog after seven months apart is going viral.

The video, posted by the Collier County Department of Animal Services, shows the dog happily barking and jumping into her owner's arms for a big hug.

The dog, named Chloe by the shelter's workers but whose real name is Mary Jane, was found roaming the streets. The shelter posted videos which led to her owner.

The Facebook video (below) has been viewed more than 1.5 million times and had nearly 35,000 likes by Friday.

 



Photo Credit: Collier County Department of Animal Services
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<![CDATA[Dogs Saved from Being Put Down]]>Fri, 25 Mar 2016 23:06:30 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/216*120/HTFD-DOG-POUND-STILL.jpg

Animal lovers have come together to save dogs that were in danger of being euthanized if they did not find homes by Saturday because the Hartford Animal Shelter was completely full.

On Thursday, animal control officer Sherry Degenova said the shelter was completely full and they were desperate to find homes for two dozen dogs.

After the story aired, there was amazing response from people who saw it and the shelter placed seven or eight dogs on Thursday night and 10 more dogs have been spoken for.

Degenova said employees are usually off on Good Friday, but would be there today to help "save a life."
Degenova said on Friday that the shelter will be able to take new strays and no dog has to be euthanized, which would be animal control's worst nightmare.

Adopters can look the dogs over online at Hartford Animal Shelter's Facebook page then make an appointment at the shelter.



Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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<![CDATA[If Dogs Hadn't Found Homes by Sat., They'd Be Put Down]]>Fri, 25 Mar 2016 23:01:53 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/216*120/HTFD-DOG-POUND-STILL.jpg

The animal shelter in Hartford that was at capacity had until Saturday to get more than two dozen pups adopted before they would be euthanized but people came forward to help clear the shelter. 

"It's ridiculous," animal control officer Sherry Degenova said on Thursday. "We literally have no room down here. We're completely full."

Hartford's animal shelter was hoping to find homes for the dogs. 

Employees are usually off on Good Friday. but Degenova said she would be at animal control to help "save a life."

"If we don't find homes for these dogs, they're gonna be euthanized," Degenova said. "It's something we don't want to do."

Degenova said most of the dogs are pit bulls or pit bull mixes which are breeds that generally have a "bad reputation."

She said prospective owners can rely on her recommendations that is based on 17 years of experience.

One dog that found a home in Farmington was on the leash of his owner, who was back for more.

"It's like he knows he was rescued. He's so appreciative. There's absolutely no problem. We're here looking to rescue another dog," said Jack Shepherd.



Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Runaway Piglet Gets a Home]]>Tue, 12 Apr 2016 17:17:30 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/IMG_18272.JPG

This little piggy, who ran wildly among cars and brought traffic to a halt in San Francisco's Mission District earlier this month, has traded in city life for the country.

According to the San Francisco Department of Animal Care and Control, the wayward piglet, who has since been named Janice, was adopted by Al Wolf, the director of Sonoma County Reptile Rescue. The piglet and her new guardian left for Sonoma Monday morning.

Janice drew a crowd of good Samaritans on March 8, leading them on a chase up and down Dolores Street, animal care officials said. Finally, Brother Damian with the Society of Saint Francis was able to scoop her up and get her to safety.

 "Janice has spent her time wisely, bringing good cheer and smiles to shelter visitors," the Department of Animal Care and Control said in a statement.

Although no owner laid claim to Janice, the piglet's story captured the attention of many who asked to adopt her, officials said.

"We've enjoyed having Janice — she’s taught us a lot about pigs, and we’ve loved her good nature and spirit," Animal Care & Control Executive Director Virginia Donohue said.



Photo Credit: San Francisco Department of Animal Care and Control]]>
<![CDATA[Scalded Cat Finds New Home]]>Tue, 12 Apr 2016 17:17:39 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Driver+The+Cat.png

Nearly two months after a disturbing video surfaced showing a man scalding a cat with boiling water, that same cat has found a happy new home. 

A video posted on Facebook in early February showed a man coaxing a cat toward him before pouring a pot of boiling water on the animal. The footage sparked nationwide outrage as it spread across social media, prompting a police investigation.

Eighteen-year-old Leon Teague, of South Martin Luther King Drive, was charged with one felony count of animal torture and one misdemeanor count of animal cruelty. It's not clear if Teague has hired an attorney.

The cat was found, thanks to a rescue effort organized by two Chicago women, and taken to Felines & Canines animal shelter in Edgewater.

Now, the cat, named Driver, has been adopted after more than a month rehabilitating from his injuries, according to the shelter's Facebook page. 

Calling the incident "one of the most horrific assaults we’ve ever seen," executive director Abby Smith details the treatment Driver endured.

According to Smith, Driver suffered third-degree burns and subsequent infections, requiring two weeks of hospitalization in the ICU, laser therapy, wound cleaning three times a day and more. 

After a diligent screening process, the shelter was "over-the-moon" to announce Driver's adoption this week, Smith said. With three sisters to play with, Driver's new home has "the most gentle, loving family where Driver will know nothing but kindness, love, and napping in the sunbeams for the rest of his life," according to Smith. 

The shelter also established "Driver's Fund" to help rescue and care for animals suffering from extreme injury or illness.



Photo Credit: NBC 5
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<![CDATA['Cat Cafe' to Open in Chicago]]>Thu, 17 Mar 2016 17:39:40 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/cat+cafe2.jpg

Why drink coffee alone when you can enjoy it in the company of a cat?

Chicago’s first "cat cafe" is coming to West Rogers Park as part of Tree House Humane Society’s new shelter set to open this year. The Chicago City Council on Wednesday approved an ordinance allowing the opening of animal shelter cafes.

"Cat Cafes are wildly popular throughout Asia, Europe and the United States," Alderman Debra Silverstein, who introduced the ordinance, said in a statement. "The 50th Ward will soon be home to the City of Chicago’s first Cat Cafe and, thanks to this new ordinance, will set a trend that will spread throughout the city and the rest of the Midwest."

Tree House Humane Society’s Cat Cafe plans to open at 7225 N. Western Ave. as part of its new adoption center and veterinary clinic. The location features full-length glass windows in the serving areas and an adjacent sitting room where visitors can have direct interaction with adoptable, rescued cats while enjoying coffee, tea and other beverages.

"We are extremely grateful to Alderman Silverstein and the City Council for making this dream a reality," said David de Funiak, executive director of Tree House Humane Society, in a statement. "The Tree House Cat Cafe will provide a unique opportunity for individuals to interact with our rescued, adoptable cats, ultimately helping more animals find their forever home and enabling us to rescue even more."

The new facility started construction last June as an adoption center and will now include a cafe. Tree House’s goal is to open sometime mid-year. Funds from the cafe will benefit the shelter, with proceeds directly supporting the rescue and rehabilitation of the cats.

The Animal Shelter Café Permit is available for licensed humane societies only, and the ordinance aims to facilitate as a tool to boost adoptions. The cafes can only sell non-alcoholic beverages and must maintain sanitation requirements.



Photo Credit: Tree House Humane Society]]>
<![CDATA[Cadbury is a Good Egg]]>Fri, 18 Mar 2016 11:02:14 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/cadbury+the+bunny.jpgCadbury needs a forever home.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[U.S. Navy Finds Puppy ]]>Fri, 18 Mar 2016 10:08:37 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Luna-Navy-Reunion-SD-0316.jpg

A missing puppy that fell off a fishing boat nearly five weeks ago in the waters off Southern California was found by the U.S. Navy Tuesday and reunited with her family in San Diego.

U.S. Navy officials say Luna – a 1-and-a-half-year-old German Shepherd – was presumed to be lost at sea after falling overboard near Naval Auxiliary Landing Field San Clemente Island (SCI) in Southern California on Feb. 10.

That day, Luna's owner, Nick Haworth, called officials at SCI from his fishing boat to report that he and his crew were bringing in traps from a fishing vessel when Luna vanished. Hayworth said one minute the pup was there and the next she was gone.

Haworth and his crew were about two miles off the coast of San Clemente, and he told Naval officials he thought Luna may try to swim to shore.

Navy staff at SCI searched the island for the dog to no avail. Hayworth stayed at sea for two days looking for Luna. And still, no luck.

After about a week of searching for the pup, she was presumed dead, Navy officials said.

Nearly five weeks passed.

Then a miracle happened.

On Tuesday morning, as Navy staff headed to work at SCI, they spotted Luna sitting next to the road. The pup, as her owner hoped, had somehow managed to make it ashore.

When the pooch saw staffers, she ran right up to them.

"They were shocked," Naval Base Coronado PAO Sandy DeMunnik told NBC 7.

DeMunnik said Luna was examined by a Navy wildlife biologist who found her to be undernourished but otherwise unharmed. The pup was in "good spirits."

The Navy flew Luna to Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado (NASNI) Wednesday afternoon, where was turned over to a family friend of her owner. Haworth, a commercial fisherman, was out of town for work, but was soon due to return home to San Diego to be reunited with his beloved companion.

Haworth's family friend, Conner Lamb, went to pick up Luna on Wednesday afternoon in Haworth's place and the reunion was joyous.

Lamb has worked on a fishing boat with Luna often and was ecstatic and amazed she's alive. He scooped her up and embraced the pup as soon as he saw her. Luna's tail wagged.

"[It's] just really mind blowing to tell you the truth," he said. "When I got the call this happened, [I] never even though this would be possible."



Photo Credit: United States Navy]]>
<![CDATA[Kittens Left for Dead in Suitcase]]>Tue, 12 Apr 2016 17:17:46 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/NYPD+kittens+1.jpg

Police rescued a half-dozen kittens after someone threw them in a suitcase and left them for dead, the NYPD said.

The felines had been tossed over a fence at a lot on Wythe Avenue near the Williamsburg Bridge in Brooklyn on Thursday evening, according to the Daily News.

The 90th precinct tweeted photos of the little critters on Tuesday following their rescue.

Sadly, a seventh kitten did not survive.

The rescued kittens are now with the ASPCA awaiting adoption.

Anyone with information about who tossed the cats is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.



Photo Credit: @NYPD90Pct/Twitter
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<![CDATA[New Hope for Neglected Pups]]>Tue, 12 Apr 2016 17:17:55 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/202*120/transformed-dogs-031516.jpg

Two Southern California pups who were found with severely matted fur after living in what Riverside County Animal Services called "uncomfortable" and "neglectful" conditions were given a makeover, officials said Tuesday.

The dogs arrived at the Riverside shelter Monday with bloodshot eyes and heavily matted fur in what authorities called one of the worst cases they'd seen.

"These two dogs illustrated the worst matted condition I've seen in my almost 10 years working for the county," Rachel Schafer-Young, who groomed the dogs, said. "It almost seemed that they were suffocating in their own fur."

A good Samaritan found the grimy canines after witnessing someone dump trash in a remote area of the Coachella Valley. Then the man saw the trash move.

"These dogs were a complete mess," the shelter said in a statement.

The dogs, both male and about 5 years old, were shaved down and all of the heavy fur removed.

Schafer-Young said the dogs are believed to be purebred Shih Tzu, though she said she can't tell for sure.

The dogs may soon have a new "leash" on life: A special adoption will be planned, shelter workers said.



Photo Credit: Riverside County Animal Services]]>
<![CDATA[Kids Read to Dogs]]>Mon, 14 Mar 2016 23:48:21 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/220*120/barks-and-books031416.PNG

What could be cuter than kids and dogs?

Children in Southern California read out loud to "tail-wagging tutors" Monday at La Pintoresca Branch Library as a part of the Pasadena Humane Society's "Barks and Books," a reading enrichment program that encourages kids to build confidence in their reading skills and the safe and humane treatment of animals.

The guest of honor was Smokey, an 8-year-old pit bull, who donned a shamrock headband in the spirit of St. Patrick's Day.

"We found that children who were afraid of dogs are more comfortable after being with a dog here in the library," Rosa Cesaretti of the La Pintoresca Branch Library in Pasadena said.

Since 2003, volunteers from the Humane Society have regularly brought specially-trained dogs to more than 17 different libraries in the Southland.

"We also find that as the children are reading out loud, they're able to listen to themselves read, and they're realizing that they could read well and it builds their confidence," Cesaretti said.

The "Barks and Books" program is free and open to the public. Find out where else you can read to curious canines here.



Photo Credit: KVEA]]>
<![CDATA[Nina Needs a Home]]>Sun, 13 Mar 2016 09:35:31 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Nina_Clear_the_Shelters_Pet_Dog_1200x675_642218051687.jpg]]><![CDATA[How to Welcome Home a New Shelter Pet]]>Fri, 11 Mar 2016 13:26:14 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/How_to_Welcome_Home_a_New_Shelter_Pet_1_1200x675_642291779755.jpgHawkeye and Dazzler paid a visit to NBC Connecticut on Friday.]]><![CDATA[Candy Is Sweet]]>Wed, 09 Mar 2016 14:45:47 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/candy+clear+shelters.jpgCandy Is Sweet

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Rutger, Rutgers Gardens Cat, Dies]]>Fri, 04 Mar 2016 13:31:54 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/rutger-on-plants.jpg

The cat that was a fixture greeting visitors at New Jersey's Rutgers Gardens has died. Rutger was 21 years old.

Horticulturist Monica McLaughlin told the Home News Tribune she was with Rutger when he died on Monday. McLaughlin said she and another volunteer knew it was time and they held him and sat on the grass with the sun shining on him.

"To think he made it that long. He had a great life," McLaughlin told NBC.

The gray tabby spent his life controlling the mice population at the gardens in New Brunswick. However, Rutger went missing in 2014 when a woman took him to make him her pet.

McLaughlin said it did not work out and the woman set him free about two miles away. He was spotted outside a home where a person was grilling salmon.  

McLaughlin said Rutger wasn't the only cat to take up residence at the Gardens and mentioned another feline named Luke.

"I just hope he'd venture out of the greenhouse area more," she said.
 

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut



Photo Credit: Ken Karamichael
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<![CDATA[Pet Tech Helps Keep Animals Safe and Connected While You're Away]]>Tue, 19 Apr 2016 10:44:00 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/PetTech-Thumbnail.jpg

Technology isn't just for humans anymore. It's also for their furry friends.

In Silicon Valley and beyond, a growing number of startups are selling devices to keep pets safe, healthy, entertained and connected when their owners are away.

"Pet tech" entrepreneurs and investors see a big opportunity as pet ownership grows and owners show a willingness to spend serious money on their four-legged companions.

Nearly two-thirds of U.S. households, or 80 million homes, have pets, and Americans spent more than $60 billion on them last year, according to the American Pet Products Association.

"The number of pets in the world is growing extremely fast and that opens up the market," said Peter Harrop, chairman of IDTechEx, a technology market research firm. "I'm sure five years from now there will be all sorts of things we can't imagine."

Already, there are devices that let your pets call you (PetChatz), play games and win treats when they're home alone (CleverPet) and even speak with a human voice (Petspeak).

But as more pet-tech gadgets come to market, experts caution owners against relying on them too much.

"The technology can be useful as an adjunct, a way of enriching your relationship with your pet, but certainly not a substitute for time spent with your dog," said Pamela Wyman, who runs the DogEvolve training school in Oakland.

The Petzi Treatcam lets Anne Ryan check on her dogs Oscar and Reggie at her Berkeley home when she's working in San Francisco or traveling out of state.

The Internet-connected device lets her see her dogs, talk to them, take photos and even dispense treats — using an app on her phone.

"I turn it on, get to see them, get to talk to them and it changes my mood, and puts me back in a positive frame," said Ryan said. "I didn't know that I needed it, but now I don't think that I could live without it."

The TreatCam was created by San Jose-based Petzila, which was founded by two veteran technology executives who wanted to get their pets online. The startup also created a social media app that lets owners share pet photos.

"All of the most current crazes and fads in technology were touching everything but the pet," said CEO David Clark.

Whistle, a San Francisco startup, sells a GPS-enabled Pet Tracker that alerts owners when their pets have left their "safe zone" and helps find them if they get lost. The device also lets owners track how much exercise and sleep their animals are getting.

Ben Jacobs, Whistle's CEO and co-founder, said the pet-tech market is expanding fast as pets move up the household hierarchy.

"From the yard to the home to the bed — the dog is no longer out as part of the farm, but they're actually sleeping in bed with you as part of the family," Jacobs said.

For owners who want their dogs and cats to be more active during the day, the Petcube Camera lets them see and speak to their pets, and play with them with a laser pointer.

Petcube's Ukranian founders started the company in Kiev, but moved its headquarters to San Francisco to reach a global market.

"If we can connect all the pets to the Internet and basically digitize this space, it will be nothing short of disruption," said Yaroslav Azhnyuk, Petcube CEO and co-founder. "It will be very big." 

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut

]]>
<![CDATA[Golden Retriever Puppy Gets Braces]]>Tue, 08 Mar 2016 21:17:37 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Wesley-Puppy-Braces.jpg

Like many "teenagers," Wesley is sporting a mouthful of braces.

But his case is unusual, because Wesley is a dog.

The 6-month-old golden retriever showed off his "metal mouth" in photos posted Feb. 26 on the Facebook page of Michigan's Harborfront Hospital for Animals.

The pup is in good hands: his owner, Molly Moore, works at the animal hospital, and Moore's father is the dentist who took care of him.

According to Moore, doggie braces are rare but not unheard of. She said Harborfront has fitted dogs with braces in the past.

"Orthodontia in pets is normally not for aesthetic purposes, but because of health concerns," the hospital explained on its Facebook page.

According to Harborfront, Wesley "needed tooth alignment because he could not close his mouth completely."

Dr. Jim Moore said his doggie braces are made of the same materials used on people.

"We use all human products, so this is something we’d put on a child," he explained.

The cost varies depending on the kind of brace, but the ones used on Wesley typically run between $1,700 and $1,800, Jim Moore said. Wesley, however, got a discount.

Molly Moore said Wesley doesn't seem fazed by the hardware and is "still his puppyish self," despite needing soft foods and being unable to play with his toys.

"It obviously doesn't bother him one little bit," Harborfront wrote on Facebook. "He's a happy little guy."

Wesley should get his braces off in a few weeks.

February marked National Pet Dental Health month, and the animal hospital shared Wesley's photos to spread the word.

Harborfront posted an update Monday saying the staff was "overwhelmed by the outpouring of care and interest from around the nation" for Wesley.

"Dental care is just as important for the pets we love as it is for us and we are glad that his cute 'brace face' brought such interest," the hospital wrote.



Photo Credit: Harborfront Hospital for Animals]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Real Dog Meets Giant Robot Dog]]>Tue, 19 Apr 2016 02:04:00 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Screen-Shot-2016-03-01-at-1.30.47-PM.jpg

It's dog versus machine.

A video, created by Boston Dynamics, the Google-owned robotics company, shows an interaction between a small, real dog and the Spot robot, which looks like a tall, headless dog. 

"Come on, take him big dog," a voice says in the video shot in a parking lot. 

But the real dog is not intimidated. It barks relentlessly and doesn't let the lifelike robot get away too far, chasing after it. The Spot robot is the latest quadruped robot from Boston Dynamics.

The video was posted to YouTube on Feb. 27 by Steve Jurvetson, a venture capitalist who is involved in several high-tech companies.



Photo Credit: Jurvetson/YouTube]]>
<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters: Spunky]]>Mon, 29 Feb 2016 11:23:13 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/spunky+pet+of+week.jpgClear the Shelters Spunky

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Sweetie Needs a Home]]>Thu, 25 Feb 2016 11:26:49 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/sweetie+pet+of+the+week+1200.jpgSweetie is the pet of the week

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Shelter Needs Your Help Adopting 60 Seized Cats]]>Thu, 11 Feb 2016 05:56:24 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/60catsseized.jpg

A Dayville animal shelter needs your help adopting the dozens of cats animal control officers recently seized from a home. There are so many cats, there isn’t enough room in their shelter.

They said 43 cats were brought to the Northeastern Connecticut Council of Governments in Dayville about two weeks ago and another 20 will be coming in soon.

Animal control officers said most of the cats are fairly healthy, but had to be rescued after a Sterling resident’s home went into foreclosure. The owner could no longer keep the cats.

“These were beloved pets of his all came in with names and most of them are very, very friendly,” said Rita Peabody with Animal Control

While volunteers are trying to make them feel at home here at the Northeastern Connecticut Council of Governments, there's very little space to fit so many of them.

“So up here, we can basically hold ten to 12 cats. As you can see, all the cages are spoken for. They’ve all housed a kitty so the 60 cats were much more than we can usually hold," said Peabody.

The shelter has even had to convert this dog kennel into a cat kennel due to a lack of space using make-shift buckets and blankets to fit all the cats.

"Macaroni is a sweet girl, she is 8-years-old and she's an older girl and she's just so affectionate," said Melissa Frink.

The shelter also has a special Valentine's promotion. For every cat adopted, its new owner will get a box of chocolates.

The cost is $50 to adopt a cat. The shelter will do a background check on the owner.



Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[12 Adoptable CT Pups Promote Puppy Bowl]]>Wed, 03 Feb 2016 11:02:15 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Puppy+Bowl+Tour+1+1200.jpg

Before you watch the Broncos and the Panthers duke it out in Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, how about a round of "a-paws" for Connecticut puppies helping promote another dogged football game, the doggone cute Puppy Bowl XII.

Twelve puppies available for adoption through the Connecticut Humane Society have been touring to promote the 12th annual Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet.

Addison, Blossom, Charlotte, Little Foot, Miller, Pete, Petrie, Ruby, Spike, Violet, Cera and Mo appeared on ESPN and SportsCenter last Thursday and the TODAY show on Monday. You can also see them on E!News.com at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 4 and Weekend Today from 7 to 9 a.m.

The humane society staff members said they "can't wait to join the fun again" after having such success participating last year, which generated a lot of "calls, emails and social media buzz around the country with people from as far away as Louisiana and Illinois calling the Connecticut Humane Society to adopt puppies.

The humane society expressed gratitude to Animal Planet for including them in the promotion and said "animal welfare groups around the country are very grateful for the emphasis put on pet adoptions through Puppy Bowl."

The "Puppy Bowl" airs on Animal Planet at 3 p.m. EST/2 p.m. CST on Sunday, Feb. 7 before the big game.

The Connecticut puppies are available for adoption the week following "Puppy Bowl." You can visit www.cthumane.org/adopt for more information and to check on the puppies' statuses.

Peruse the Puppy Bowl pups up for adoption at the humane society's Newington and Westport locations this year and see if one of them catches your eye! 

EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this article reported that the Connecticut puppies are appearing in "Puppy Bowl," when they're actually just touring to help promote the event on various television shows and on media websites. 



Photo Credit: Connecticut Humane Society]]>
<![CDATA[Elliot Needs a Home]]>Wed, 24 Feb 2016 16:38:08 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Elliot_Needs_a_Home_Clear_Shelters_1200x675_611715651876.jpgElliot Needs a Home]]><![CDATA[Finding a Home for Trouble]]>Mon, 25 Jan 2016 18:11:32 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Trouble_the_Rabbit_1200x675_606766659967.jpgFinding a Home for Trouble]]><![CDATA[Lenny Has a Lot of Love to Offer]]>Mon, 25 Jan 2016 15:43:32 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Lenny_Has_a_Lot_of_Love_to_Offer_1200x675_602671683511.jpgLenny Has a Lot of Love to Offer]]><![CDATA[Ray Needs a Home]]>Fri, 08 Jan 2016 13:39:14 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/ray+potw_1200.jpg

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Jax Needs A Home]]>Tue, 05 Jan 2016 12:49:46 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Jax_Needs_A_Home_1200x675_595697219912.jpg]]><![CDATA[Guinea Pig for Adoption]]>Fri, 04 Dec 2015 18:49:01 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Guinea_Pig_for_Adoption_1200x675_579750979511.jpg]]><![CDATA[Rabbit Needs a Home]]>Fri, 27 Nov 2015 13:59:27 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Rabbit_Needs_a_Home_1200x675_575220803810.jpg]]><![CDATA[Zoe is Looking for a Home]]>Mon, 23 Nov 2015 08:09:05 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/zoe+the+dog.jpg

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Clear The Shelters: Cookie]]>Fri, 13 Nov 2015 15:38:53 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Clear_The_Shelters_Cookie_1200x675_566276675862.jpg]]><![CDATA[Adopt Oddball the Cat]]>Fri, 06 Nov 2015 13:27:57 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Oddball_the_Cat_Clear_the_Shelters_1200x675_560994883720.jpg]]><![CDATA[Pet of the Week: Simba the Guinea Pig]]>Fri, 06 Nov 2015 12:13:29 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Pet_of_the_Week_1200x675_556850755925.jpg]]><![CDATA[NBC Connecticut Pets]]>Sat, 15 Aug 2015 13:45:19 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*125/Pup+1.jpegHere are a few of our furry friends here at NBC Connecticut.]]><![CDATA[Your Adopted Pets in Connecticut]]>Mon, 17 Aug 2015 12:06:00 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/Robyn+Whiteley+Greaves+dyson.jpgHere are some of the sweet furry friends that have been adopted across Connecticut.

Photo Credit: Robyn Whiteley Greaves]]>
<![CDATA[Pet Adoption 101: Expert Tips on Animal Adoptions]]>http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/adoptionhappy.jpg

Welcoming a furry addition to a home can be a fun and exciting event. But ensuring a smooth transition for the pet - and the family - takes some preparation and work. Here are some tips from animal shelters about what to do before, during and after the adoption. 

BEFORE YOU ADOPT... 

Make sure everyone in the family wants a pet: Pet ownership can affect many aspects of family life, from deciding who gets to take the puppy out in the middle of the night to making sure everyone understands an animal is a long-term time, emotional and financial investment. And because the pet will be part of the family for the long haul, it's important that everyone is on board about the kind, size and personality of the companion of choice. Shelter experts advise discussing the delegation of responsibilities and going through the process of picking out the pet as a group to avoid problems down the road. “Understand all the responsibilities involved, and pick a time where you can all go pick a pet," said Madeline Bernstein, president of SPCA Los Angeles. "Many people have completely different ideas of what they want.”

Do your research: Experts suggest researching breeds and characteristics to identify animals that best fit your lifestyle before you arrive at the shelter, where you could find yourself falling for a cute cat or dog that wouldn't be a great match. “Some people think Jack Russell Terriers are so cute, but they require a lot of work because they have a lot of energy," Stephanie Knight, communications specialist at SPCA of Texas, said. "So if you don’t go for walks or outside much, you may want to consider getting something like a pug.” It's also smart to research and budget for the costs you'll face when you bring the pet home, such as vaccinations for young animals, license fees and pet supplies. 

Check the requirements: To avoid delays once you meet that perfect pet, shelters recommend looking into what paperwork is required for adoption. This can range from leases or other proof of residency to vet references.  “If you haven’t owned a pet, you can’t have a vet reference, but if we see they have in the past we’ll ask," Mantat Wong, director of operations at Animal Haven in New York said.  While home or apartment renters may be more aware of requirements needed for pets, it is important for homeowners to see if they have any pet restrictions as well. “If you’re a renter you have to be aware of requirements but even as a homeowner, insurance doesn’t always cover larger dogs," said Marc Peralta, executive director of Best Friends Animal Society in Los Angeles. 

Puppy-proof your home: Similar to preparing for a new baby, it is important to make sure a home is safe for a new arrival of a dog or cat. Animals can get into just as much trouble as young children, so working ahead to keep valuables out of reach of the furry friends can save time and money in the end. “Look around and try to figure out what a puppy or kitten can get into, like if you leave your shoes around," said Michelle Groeper, executive director at Tails Humane Society in DeKalb, Illinois. "Take the time to clean up. It’s easier to do a little work ahead of time instead of buy new shoes, because you know your puppy will chew your favorite pair.” It's also recommended that prospective owners purchase as many essential supplies as you can before adopting, such as getting a leash, toys, a bed, or a crate. Getting set up ahead of time can help smooth the transition from the shelter to the home.

Check out the shelter before stepping foot inside: Most shelters have websites that many experts recommend surfing. Beyond looking up requirements needed for adoption, people can see all the animals the shelter currently has to get a better idea of what they're in for. “Look for any animal they have online that may catch your eye,” Groeper said. “It can be overwhelming if you walk in and see all these furry animals.”

WHILE YOU'RE AT THE SHELTER: 

Bring your dog if you already have one at home: Many shelters require families to bring any dogs they already have at home for a meet-and-greet with the potential new pet, a policy meant to ensure chemistry between the two animals won't be an issue. “Most places require you to bring your dog," Bernstein said. "They get an idea whether they’re coping with each other. Occasionally the situation shows it’s a bad idea (to bring another dog home) most of the time it works out and helps with an introduction.” 

Check the chemistry with humans, too: While some may have their heart set on a certain breed or look of dog or cat, it's important to keep an open mind when looking for a forever friend. “There’s going to be a lot of dogs, so just go where the chemistry takes you,” Bernstein said. “People have a preconceived idea of what they want and they almost never leave with that.”

Ask questions about the animal: Don't be afraid to ask questions about anything regarding the animal, such as their health history or the situation that put them in a shelter. The more information the shelter can give, the better prepared a family will be when questions arise long after they have left the shelter. “You want to ideally know as much as the shelter knows,” Bernstein said. “You want to know the medical conditions, if they’ve been spayed or neutered, any behavior issues. Anything they can tell you about the animal is useful.”

Bring that paperwork you prepared: Meeting lease requirements for adopting an animal can delay a pet's release for a day or more if the paperwork isn't ready in advance. Many times, the lease is used as confirmation of what is and is not allowed on the property. Without that proof, a family would not be able to bring home their chosen pet the day they picked it out. “Anyone who rents, it saves us a lot of trouble because then we’ll have to call the landlord or building and sometimes they don’t answer,” Wong said. “It’s usually the roadblock that prevents a same day adoption.”

ONCE YOU'RE HOME...

Go to a training class: Puppies and kittens aren't always easy to train, especially when their cuteness gets in the way of efforts to establish boundaries and rules. Taking an obedience class is a simple way to teach an animal the proper way to behave, while also creating an important bond between the animal and its family. “The more you can share a language with your dog, the less behavioral issues there are later on,” Bernstein said. “Making sure the pet is healthy, happy, and taking a training class as a whole family makes it a more enriching experience, and everyone will be happier in the end.”

Don't sweat it if you new pet is shy: Dogs, and especially cats, tend to want to hide when they first get in a new environment.Shelters recommend leaving shy animals alone to get used to their new home on their own terms, which means not following the pet around as they explore. Also, even if they were housebroken in the shelter, animals can revert back to old behavior when scared. “If you see a dog or cat acting funny, it’s most likely because of their new environment,” Knight said. “Especially with cats, it’s in their nature. ... It’s important to remember they do grow out of it.”

Keep asking questions: Many shelters encourage families to call when they need anything -- these are the places that know a lot more about the animal than their new family. It's also good to keep up-to-date with your vet. They can answer health-related questions, as well as give the recommended yearly vaccinations. “We have a behavior department that will answer any questions the adopters have,” Knight said. “Also follow up with your vet, make sure you have your vaccinations every year.”

Track your animal: Animals can stray away from home and get lost, and to make sure it's easier to find your beloved pet, experts recommend registering your animal, or putting a microchip in them. This way if someone finds them and returns them to a shelter, an employee can scan for the pet's unique ID number and contact the pet recovery service, which will connect them with the owner. 

Accept if it’s not a good fit: While some families want an animal and think a breed or specific pet is perfect for them, this isn't always the case. If the animal and family would be happier separated, it's important to talk to the shelter and look into returning the pet. “If it’s not a good fit, we want the animal back,” Peralta said. “Obviously we don’t want to see the animals come back, but in the ‘people world’ sometimes it doesn’t always work out with your high school sweetheart. The same thing can happen in the animal world.”

Send pictures: An easy way to say thanks to a shelter for all their hard work: send photos of the animal in its happy new home. Many workers don't get to say goodbye to animals before they get adopted, so keeping up-to-date with them is affirmation that they went with the right family. “A lot of adopters really understand how much we put in to the animals we care and get attached and want us to be reassured they went to a good home,” Wong said. “This is very thankless job, and it’s such a nice morale boost to hear success stories.”



Photo Credit: The Washington Post/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[How Much You Can Expect to Spend on Your New Pet]]>Thu, 20 Jul 2017 18:13:09 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/dog89.jpg

Adopting a pet can be a rich experience for both the owner and the animal, but it comes with costs. 

While many shelters offer low or no-cost spaying and neutering, vaccinations, and microchipping, there are upfront and ongoing health and wellness expenses to budget for after basic adoption fees.

Caring for a dog will set you back between $1,400 and more than $2,000 annually, depending on the size, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimates. For a cat, you can anticipate spending around $1,174 a year. All those purchases add up; according to the American Pet Products Association, U.S. pet owners spent a total of $60.59 billion on their pets in 2016.

Even with the costs, many animal owners will tell you the overhead required to keep your pet happy and healthy will be worth its weight in kibble. Here's a look at some of the purchases you can expect to make once you bring a pet into your home. 

THE BASICS: 

First things first: what you’ll need to buy in order to create a happy home for your new pet. To start, you’ll need a collar and ID tag (in advance, in case your new friend attempts a getaway en route home). You’ll also need a bed, kibble, toys and treats. Research local prices for registration fees and any costs associated with vaccinations and microchipping so you know how much you'll have to spend on those needs post adoption. For cats, don’t forget the litter box and kitty litter. 

Other costs to factor in before heading to the shelter might be for services like boarding, which can cost between $15 and $50 per night, dog walking, $15 to $20 per half-hour, and pet sitting services, which can cost between $10 and $65 per day. Be sure to consider that the cost of day and weekend trips — or even an evening stuck late at work — will likely go up once you take your pet's needs into account.   

Be sure to inquire about pet insurance rates with a representative at your local shelter before bringing your new friend home. Those plans can help defray some costs required to keep your pet healthy.

FOOD AND TREATS: 

Food factored in as the highest pet cost in the APPA estimates, at $23.04 billion in total spending a year, followed by veterinarian care. And it's not just basic kibble hitting the dog bowls daily. The humanization of pets is driving demand for the best possible products, APPA representative Ashlee Verba said. Increasingly, pet owners are shopping organic.

"All natural is huge right now. The pet industry mirrors the human market so much. As more people are realizing, you know, grain and gluten free, all of these things are also being mirrored in the pet market," she said, adding that American-made pet food and "ingestibles" are at the forefront of trends in the pet market.

Sandra J. Townsend, a Chicago-based blogger who writes about life with her rescued Dachshund-mix Dolly in her blog, Dolly the Doxie, is part of that trend. Townsend, who writes about her pet costs occasionally on her site, likes to splurge on high-quality chow. Premium pet food costs her around $90 per bag, but can last several months.

"It has to be all natural, grain free, and made in the USA from U.S.-sourced ingredients," Townsend, who spends about $40 a month on her dog, wrote in an email.

In addition to basic kibble, many pet owners end up purchasing additional treats, which can be a helpful tool when training your pet. 

HEALTH: 

Much like with doctor bills, veterinarian services can add up quickly. And not just in emergency care situations. Pets need regular checkups and vaccination updates. Supplies and over-the-counter medicine ranked as the third-highest cost for pet owners in the APPA survey.

Joey Teixeira, of New York City’s chapter of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, stressed the importance of heartworm and tick prevention medication as well as core vaccinations. It’s important to note that most vaccines require more than one shot, he said.

"We'll have people who come in and they'll have a cat for 10 years and say it's vaccinated. But it never saw the vet since it was a kitten. We have to explain and educate that animals need vaccinations yearly," said Teixeira.

Vaccination costs vary greatly by location and provider, but vetinfo.com, a veterinary medical information website for dogs and cats, estimates core vaccine costs for adult dogs to be $75 to $100 annually and around $50 to $100 per year for cats.

Townsend said her biggest expenses are veterinary fees, which she estimates hit $100 to $200 a year on checkups and shots alone. With her dog’s recent diagnosis with inflammatory bowel disease, she anticipates thousands of dollars in vet bills. Luckily, she had a $25-a-month pet insurance plan to help defray the costs. 

Without pet insurance, she cautions, "you need to be aware that there could be emergency expenses and be prepared to pay them."

GROOMING: 

Teixeira also stressed the importance of regular professional grooming every four to six weeks for many dog breeds (and even some cats), in addition to weekly maintenance of their coats. A good brush, which can cost similar to human hair tools, can go a long way. 

"At the adoption center we see dogs who come in with very matted fur which is very painful for the dogs and can cause circulation problems, issues with their limbs, skin irritations and infections," he said.

For long-haired breeds, owners can anticipate spending around $264 per year on pet grooming, according to ASPCA estimates. 

SPECIAL SPLURGES: 

Now that a trip to the groomer has your new pooch looking sharp, how about an outfit to tie it all together? If a stroll past your local doggie daycare or couture collar boutique hasn’t clued you in yet: Americans spend a lot on our animals.

The APPA, which conducts market research and tracks industry spending, also noted that pampering services thay go beyond basic grooming are an emerging trend factoring heavily in pet spending. Among the deluxe services trending in the pet market are luxury daycare and even spa treatments. There’s also apparel — not just doggie T-shirts, but designer dresses and swanky collars. 

"You can get Swarovski crystal or you know, handmade leather. It gets pretty high-class," Verba said.

Townsend hasn't gone that far, though she does treat her pup to the occasional Chicago Blackhawks or Cubs T-shirt or bandana. 

Assuming you’d rather spend more on your own wardrobe than your pet's, your newly adopted dog or cat will be just fine with the essentials.

But once the bond between you and your pet has taken root, you might just find you’d spare no expense, save maybe for the Swarovski crystal collar. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Halloween Pets]]>Fri, 30 Oct 2015 15:03:22 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/d03391f09df84cf4ae34375a4fb0cb76.JPG.jpgA look at some great Halloween costumes on pets from around Connecticut.

Photo Credit: Lisa Kurtz]]>
<![CDATA[Morales to Host Special on Clear the Shelters Drive ]]>Fri, 21 Aug 2015 16:38:23 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/NUP_146526_1474.JPG

Hannah the tutu-wearing pit bull, George the pot-bellied pig and a kitten named Chase were among the nearly 20,000 animals who got new homes last weekend as part of the Clear the Shelters adoption drive. 

Stories like theirs will be front and center this Saturday, when "Today" co-host Natalie Morales hosts a 30-minute post-adoption drive special that will recap the national day of action. It can be seen Aug. 22 on all 11 NBC Owned Stations, plus more than 100 NBC affiliate stations. Telemundo stations will also air a post-adoption drive show on the same day.

Twenty-eight local NBC and Telemundo television stations, including regional news network necn, partnered with more than 400 animal shelters across the country to find new homes for thousands of homeless pets. Many participating shelters waived fees or cut costs as part of the Clear the Shelters campaign, which culminated Aug. 15.

By the end of the day on Saturday, 20 shelters reported that they had “cleared” all adoptable animals during the event, which was also sponsored by Overstock.com.

“I am so proud that all of our stations came together with hundreds of animal shelters across the country, with the help of the ASPCA and our friends at Overstock.com, to find thousands of animals in need of their forever homes. We are all so grateful to everyone who opened their homes to these deserving pets on this national day of action,” Valari Staab, president of the NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations division of NBCUniversal, said in a statement.

“Clear the Shelters is an example of how together, we can rally to help save deserving animal lives and in the end make a positive impact across communities nationwide.”

Morales adopted her own shelter dog, Zara, through the North Shore Animal League, which reported 137 adoptions as part of this year's Clear the Shelters campaign.

Morales describes her mutt, who she first met four years ago after Zara appeared on the NBC morning show, as part of her family, like "our third child."

"It was love at first sight," Morales said.

She said that after overcoming some initial shyness, the new addition quickly took to Morales' sons, Josh and Luke, and became part of the family. Not much was known of Zara's history pre-adoption, other than she was saved from a kill shelter in Georgia where she was about to be put down. 

Morales believes shelters are often overlooked by people seeking a four-legged companion.

"I was blown away by the beautiful dogs, some of them pedigree dogs [at shelters]," she said. "They deserve second chances. It really is just training them with love and kindness."

"There are so many incredible animals that need homes, and Zara was one of them. I can't imagine life without her now."



Photo Credit: Andrew Eccles/NBC]]>
<![CDATA[More Pets Need Homes After 'Clear the Shelters']]>Thu, 20 Aug 2015 18:06:58 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/clear+the+shelters+pack+leaders+rescue.jpg

Hundreds of pets found their forever homes during NBC Connecticut's "Clear the Shelters" campaign, but many are still waiting to be adopted.

Skipper, a pit bull mix is one of many success stories at Pack Leaders Rescue of Connecticut in East Hartford.

“We very excited to see Skipper go home,” said Jennifer Kanaitis, of Pack Leaders Rescue.

Skipper is not alone.

Forty-seven animals were adopted from Pack Leaders Rescue during "Clear the Shelters" on Saturday. There are still a few looking for a new home.

One of those is Jazzy, a high-energy pointer-pit bull mix who would make a great companion for someone active.

"She’s very friendly, loving, very sweet girl," said Kanaitis.

Dozens of more dogs are expected to show up here soon looking for new homes. An adoption event is planned at PetSmart in Manchester on Friday from 4 to 7 p.m.

Erin Turner adopted her best friend, Penelope, and urges others to also think about rescuing a pet.

"I knew it was meant to be. She kept on coming back to me. I couldn’t leave her, so I adopted her," said Turner.

]]>
<![CDATA[Happy Ending for Shelter Dog Set to Be Euthanized]]>Wed, 19 Aug 2015 19:06:22 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/daisystill081915.jpg

Daisy the pit bull is among more than 600 shelter pets rescued during NBC Connecticut's "Clear The Shelters" campaign over the weekend.

A Meriden family saved her life.

The stray dog was about to be put down. She had lived in the Meriden animal shelter for about a month, but could not adjust to the kennel life.

"She became looking quite emaciated to me. She had kennel sores on her feet. She just wasn’t acting like a normal, happy dog," said Animal Control Officer Sara Beacon.

Beacon said it wasn’t fair for Daisy to be so stressed out. The shelter made the tough decision to euthanize her, but first wanted to give her another chance through the NBC Connecticut's "Clear The Shelters" event last Saturday.

Meriden Animal Control also reached out to the public on Facebook asking for their help to find Daisy a home.

Maureen McGaughey saw the post about Daisy and had to meet her.

"She's just been wonderful for us. We just couldn’t leave without her; we had to take her home. We just couldn’t let her be put down," said McGaughey.

Along with Daisy’s new home, she also has a new name: Molly.

She’s already put on some weight, and her owner says she’s eating well. It’s only a matter of time before she looks and feels healthier.

McGaughey says she's just glad to give Molly a second chance.

"She’s just amazing. I cant describe how amazing she is. It’s almost like we’ve had her forever," she said.

]]>
<![CDATA[Happy Ending For a Meriden Shelter Dog]]>Wed, 19 Aug 2015 18:48:49 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/daisystill081915.jpgDaisy the pit bull has found her forever home.]]><![CDATA[Golden Retriever Making 'Absolutely Remarkable' Recovery After Found Burned Across Back]]>Wed, 19 Aug 2015 05:02:00 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/211*120/8-18--15-golden+retriever-fergus.jpg

A young golden retriever whose resilience is described as "absolutely remarkable" was recovering Tuesday at a Southern California animal hospital after a rescue group found him surrendered at an animal shelter with a third-degree burn.

The dog, a 1- or 2-year-old pup now named Fergus, was found by a good Samaritan outside of a Walmart in Lancaster with a burn along his back, from his neck all the way to his tail. The person who found him took him to a shelter, where the rescue group found him during a routine stop.

“It breaks your heart,” said Barbara Gale of the Southern California Golden Retriever Rescue group, which rescues surrendered golden retrievers from San Diego to Santa Barbara. “What did dogs ever do to anyone except bring love and joy? That’s what they’re on earth for.”

The same day NBC stations across the country were helping to Clear the Shelters on Saturday, Gale said the shelter handed over Fergus to be treated.

“It just was sick,” Gale said. “I was sick and my only thought was, 'How quickly can we get him?'”

“He was scared. He was very very scared when we first got him and confused,” she said, adding that he suffered a seizure when they first got him.

It is believed it was possible the person responsible for harming Fergus could have harmed other dogs. Gale said she heard there was another dog brought in the same week as Fergus with similar wounds.

The Animal Medical Center in West LA is caring for Fergus now, at limited cost to the rescue group. Dr. Alan Schulman said Fergus came in with severe tissue damage. On Thuesday night, Fergus began receiving laser therapy for the wound along his back.

“He hurt,” Dr. Schulman said. “There is no way you do not feel substantial pain and discomfort if you have this type of third-degree burn.”

For Fergus, named after an Irish word meaning "powerful," his tail-wagging hasn’t stopped since he awoke from his sedation.

“The fact that this guy still trusts people, wags his tail and will let us treat him considering the horrendous way that some person hurt him, is absolutely remarkable,” Dr. Schulman said.

Schulman said he did not believe the dog was set on fire, but rather something more sinister.

“It’s not the first one we’ve seen where some deranged individual goes ahead and pours battery acid or some other chemical up and down their back,” he said.

Dr. Schulman noted that Fergus is a loving dog that is easy to get close to when he is given attention. He said whoever harmed Fergus probably tried to pour the acid on his head but Fergus moved.

There has been no word on who may have done this to Fergus, but Gale says she has a feeling she knows the “type,” saying, “Only a coward, a bully, can do this.”

Dr. Schulman went a step further, crediting his South Bronx upbringing for his feelings, saying, “I’d be the first one to line up and hold him down and pour whatever chemical he poured on this dog right over him.”

The Golden Retriever Rescue group set up a GoFundMe site to help with the costs of Fergus’ care, with any amount over the goal amount going to helping the group’s cause of helping other surrendered dogs. To make a donation, click here.

For information on adopting Fergus, you can speak directly with the rescue here.
 



Photo Credit: Ernesto Torres]]>
<![CDATA[#ClearTheShelters Finds Home for Hundreds of CT Pets]]>Mon, 17 Aug 2015 21:40:48 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/mauser+clear+the+shelters.jpg

NBC Connecticut's Clear the Shelters campaign found new homes for more than 600 animals around the state, including Mauser, a German Shepherd-Rottweiler mix.

Mauser was the last of 15 dogs at the Almost Home rescue in Plainville that were adopted Saturday as part of Clear the Shelters.

"We were just looking to see what was out there and he caught our eye," said Bev Roche, the dog's new owner.

Mauser had been at the rescue ever since he was found wandering in the woods.

Now, he has a new home with two kids to play with.

"He's great. He's really great. He's good with the kids, good with us, he likes to run so it's a good thing I do too," said Roche.

In all, Almost Home adopted out 15 dogs, 23 kittens, 3 cats and a bird during the event.

"We cleared them all," said Meda Talley, of Almost Home.

Even though they cleared this shelter, it's pretty much filled up again just days later.

"Until ten o'clock this morning, we were pretty much empty. This morning, we got 12 more dogs, sad situation in one of our towns of hoarding," said Talley.

She says they're expecting to get even more animals soon.

Meanwhile, Mauser and hundreds if other animals across the state are enjoying their new homes.

"He's just great. Glad we did it," said Roche.

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<![CDATA[Pit Bull Reunited With Owner After Shelter Spots Missing Dog Post Online]]>Sat, 15 Aug 2015 17:39:02 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/pit+bill+chief.jpg

One lucky pit bull found his forever home for the second time Saturday during the nationwide Clear the Shelters adoption drive. 

Joe Cool, aka Chief, jumped over a fence and ran away from his home on Monday afternoon. By Tuesday, Chief found his way to the Humane Society of the Calumet area, where he stayed for the rest of the week.

Shelter employee Stacy Budeselich came to Chief's rescue on Saturday when she was scrolling through Facebook looking for "missing dog" posts in the area. She saw a post from Chief's owner and immediately recognized the pit bull's face.

"I said, 'Wait a minute, that dog looks familiar. I think we got him in,'" Budeselich said.

Budeselich called the phone number attached to the "missing dog" post, and within half an hour the owner showed up to the shelter with a laptop full of photos to prove he was Chief's owner. Budeselich said Chief looked excited to see his owner, but he was a little nervous because he knew he should never have run away.

The Humane Society of the Calumet area has seen happy endings like Chief's before. Budeselich said just last month another dog was reunited with his owner after spending three months in the shelter. Budeselich said she routinely checks Facebook and "missing dog" websites to make sure her shelter doesn't have a dog that already has a forever home.

While Chief and his owner reunited, hundreds of first-time and veteran pet owners adopted dogs and cats across the Chicago area for NBC and Telemundo's "Clear the Shelters" event. As of 3:15 p.m. 715 animals had been adopted in the Chicago area, and more than 9,000 had been adopted nationwide.



Photo Credit: Humane Society of the Calumet area]]>
<![CDATA[From Pigs to Lizards, Many Kinds of Pets Seek New Homes ]]>Sun, 16 Aug 2015 09:39:19 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/George_the_Pig81515.png

All across the country, it's raining cats and dogs and… lizards?

While the vast majority of the adoptees during the Clear the Shelters pet adoption drive were cats and dogs, there was plenty of variety in the species available to potential owners at shelters across the country.

At the Humane Society of Calvert County in Maryland, a pot-bellied pig named Channing Tatum was headed for a new home.

“He’s very laid back,” Debbie Samler, an adoption counselor at the site, said. “He likes people.”

He also likes other animals, but not other pigs, she said. According to Samler, the Humane Society rescued him from another shelter.

“Generally, people will get these pot-bellied pigs and they live in apartments and then think they’re going to stay tiny,” she said. “And they don’t.”

In Irving, Texas, another pot-bellied pig, George, was adopted from Irving Animal Services. He will spend the rest of his days on his owners' goat farm.

MSPCA-Angell, in Massachusetts, also had guinea pigs, a domestic rat, a grey macaw and a chinchilla ready for new homes Saturday. 

In Los Angeles, the West LA Animal Care Center had already given three rabbits homes shortly after opening its doors. Bunnies were available for adoption in Texas, as well as in the San Francisco Bay area and Voorhees, New Jersey.

Texans heading to a shelter in search of a new pet Saturday could also find at least one hamster and a hedgehog. Shelters in the D.C. area, meanwhile, reported giving forever homes to another hamster, as well as two turtles and a ferret.

And yes, in New York, there were even lizards in need of loving owners. All creatures, great and small, were up for adoption on Saturday. More than 17,000 animals were placed in adoptive homes as part of the drive, which was sponsored by NBC Owned Television Stations and Telemundo Station Group. 

NBC Owned Television Stations' Cynthia Andrews and Noreen O'Donnell contributed to this report.


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<![CDATA[Helping Your New Shelter Dog Adjust]]>http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/CTS-2015-AcclimatingYourDog-Fixed_1200x675_505037891838.jpg

The first thing you might want to do after you bring a new dog home from the shelter is also something you probably shouldn't do: invite all your friends over to meet the cute pup.

Instead, you should first make sure that your dog is comfortable with its new surroundings. Then, invite one friend over at a time to make sure you don't overwhelm the dog.

That's just one tip that can help your dog adjust to their new home. Watch the video above to learn more. 

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<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters: Homes for Nearly 20,000 Pets]]>Sat, 23 Jul 2016 10:02:58 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/clear-the-shelters-pets-SPLITSCREEN.jpg

Hannah the pit bull left a Maryland shelter Saturday with her new family and a pink tutu, becoming one of thousands of animals adopted during the Clear the Shelters drive.

The tutu came courtesy of a volunteer at the Humane Society of Calvert County in Sunderland, Maryland, who wanted to dress up the happy pup.

The family – Amanda Krutilla, her 20-month-old son, Jax and her fiancé, Jason Bowles – was united with the dog thanks to the nationwide adoption push. Hannah is Krutilla's second pit bull.

"They're just the biggest babies," said Krutilla, of California, Maryland. "Her tutu defines her."

Nearly 20,000 animals were adopted as part of the nationwide adoption drive sponsored by 11 NBC owned television stations, the New England regional news network necn, and 17 Telemundo owned stations. More than 400 shelters participated, many offering the animals at a reduced price. By the end of the day, 20 shelters reported that they had “cleared” all adoptable animals during the event, which was also sponsored by Overstock.com.

“I am so proud that all of our stations came together with hundreds of animal shelters across the country, with the help of the ASPCA and our friends at Overstock.com, to find thousands of animals in need of their forever homes. We are all so grateful to everyone who opened their homes to these deserving pets on this national day of action,” Valari Staab, president of the NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations division of NBCUniversal, said in a statement.

“Clear the Shelters is an example of how together, we can rally to help save deserving animal lives and in the end make a positive impact across communities nationwide.”

The day had just begun Saturday when a 2-month-old kitten named June was headed out the door of the Patricia H. Ladew Foundation, a cat sanctuary in Oyster Bay, New York.

Kristen Pytell had seen June on Monday with her children, 11-year-old old Harry, Oliver, 9, and Lila, 7, and they knew she would be their first cat.

“My kids and I fell in love with her,” said Pytell, and so they arrived first thing to bring her home.

At the Salem New Hampshire Animal Rescue League, a pit bull named Baby – a 3-year-old surrendered a few weeks ago – was the first headed out the door this morning.

"We are really excited that the first adoption of the day on this great Clear the Shelters initiative was a pit bull," said the shelter’s spokesman, B.J. Bettencourt. "Pit bulls can be a challenge to adopt, so we are thrilled that Baby found a home this morning."

His new owner, Charlie Foote, a retired firefighter turned dog trainer, was not initially heading for the Salem Animal Rescue League. He happened to drive by, stop and spot Baby, who will have a new name by tonight, he said.

"I instantly saw him and said, 'I want that dog,'" he said.

Foote, of Derry, New Hampshire, has four other dogs at home and four children ages 6 to 12. Baby is already fitting in well, if still a little shy, he said Saturday afternoon.

"They have a bad reputation, a bad name," he said. “I have a house full of little kids and these dogs are phenomenal."

Lines quickly formed outside such places as the New Hampshire SPCA in Stratham, New Hampshire, Miami-Dade Florida Animal Services and Prince George’s Animal Services Facility in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Red carpets were laid out so the new owners could be photographed with their furry friends.

The Farago family – Laura, Andrew and 7 1/2-year-old Aaron – left the New Hampshire SPCA with a new puppy, a black lab mix that does not yet have a new name. They had to put their older dog down in the spring.

“We couldn’t last any longer without a dog,” Laura Farago said. “And we wanted our son to grow up with a dog.”

The three of them chose the puppy together, and Aaron was thrilled, she said.

“Oh yes,” she said. “He’s a little tired from the process, but yes.”

In Miami, 13-year-old Zipporah Currie said her new dog, Dolly, smelled like cookies.

The second adoption at the Ladew sanctuary in Oyster Bay was another kitten, Chase. Sarah Freeman and Matthew Boyle wanted a second cat to keep their 5-year-old adoptee Boo company.

“He’s wonderful,” Freeman said of Boo, who was also from the Ladew sanctuary. “He likes to watch the birdies out the window and he likes to hang out with us."

At the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Minty went home with a new family after two years in a shelter. She had been brought to Florida three days ago from out of state.

By the end of the day, at least 20 shelters across the country reported they had been cleared of adoptable animals. 

About 7.6 million animals enter shelters across the country each year, 3.9 million dogs and 3.4 million cats, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Each year an equal number are adopted or euthanized, about 2.7 million in each case. About 649,000 strays are returned to their owners, the majority of them dogs.

Clear the Shelters began in North Texas as a partnership among NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth/KXAS, Telemundo 39 Dallas-Fort Worth/KXTX and dozens of North Texas animal shelters. More than 2,200 homeless animals were adopted in 2014, the most in a single day in North Texas.

Staab hopes that the adoption drive will become an annual event. A recurring drive can help make people aware of how important it is to spay and neuter their pets, she said. And the advance notice will give shelters time to raise money to offset that cost of spaying and neutering and vaccinations, she said.



Photo Credit: NBC
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<![CDATA[Teachers Save Kitten Trapped in Car Engine]]>Sat, 15 Aug 2015 12:20:48 -0400http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/216*120/08-14-15-Kitten.jpg

A tiny black-and-white kitten that became stuck in a car engine was rescued, and now has a new home, thanks to a group of cat lovers who sprang into action in Cerritos, California, Wednesday afternoon.

Melisande Maytorena, a teacher in the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District, had gone out to lunch with co-workers to celebrate the end of their summer training when they noticed the kitten in the restaurant parking lot.

"He was crying so loud, it was scary, like he was hurt or something," Maytorena said. "He was hiding under one of my colleague's cars."

Maytorena and her co-workers went inside the restaurant to get water for the cat, but when they couldn't coax it out from under the car, decided to leave the water and try again when they were done with lunch.

But when they returned to the parking lot, the kitten was nowhere to be found.

"We couldn't find the cat but a lot of the water had been drunk," Maytorena said. "I told my co-worker, 'Don't start the car, I bet the baby went under the hood.'"

Sure enough, when they popped the hood of the Ford Flex, there was the little kitten. Though Maytorena said they were relieved to have found the cat before they started the car, they began to panic once they realized that no one could fit underneath the hood to reach it.

"We're all cat people so we were freaking out," she said.

That's when a young man who happened to be in the parking lot offered to help, and after more than an hour into the rescue effort, he was able to pull the tiny kitten from the engine.

"We couldn’t believe it," Maytorena said. "The cat was biting and scratching him but he didn’t let go."

Maytorena said the man, whose name they never learned, told them through tears that his own cat had recently died. Though Maytorena, who has two cats herself, was prepared to take the kitten home, once she saw the man holding the little cat she said she knew it was meant to be.

"We all started crying," Maytorena said. "As soon as he hugged the cat, it stopped crying and started purring just like that. It was like he found his human."

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