No More Dogs on Chains - The "Have a Heart for Dogs" campaign reached a milestone this year. A record 12,113 Valentine's Day cards - most of them made by school children - were sent to chained dogs around the country with messages like "Break the Chain this Valentine's Day" and "Show me Some Puppy Love." The card drive, created by Altoona-based Dogs Deserve Better, started in 2002 in an effort to raise awareness about the emotional and physical problems suffered by chained dogs and the dangers, particularly to children, from dogs on chains. Founder Tamira Ci Thayne said while some card recipients react defensively, others ask for assistance in placing their no-longer wanted dogs or finding low-cost fencing.
ASPCA Annual Awards - American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is seeking nominations of extraordinary pets and people for its 2009 Humane Awards. If you know a fabulous feline or precocious pooch with a knack for saving lives, or a heroic human being who has improved the lives of animals, the ASPCA wants to hear from you. Nominations are being accepted until July l5 at www.aspca.org/nominate. Winners will be invited to attend the Humane Awards Luncheon on Thursday, October 29, at the Pierre Hotel in New York City.
Stupid pet crime of the week - An 18-year-old New Orleans man was pulled over for speeding last week and ended up being busted for a whole lot more. Police found a marijuana cigarette and a stolen Shih Tsu on the front seat of the Lexus (also stolen) that he was driving. Car and dog came from different homes. Fortunately, tags on the Shih Tsu led cops to the dog's veterinarian who called the owners who said their dog was swiped in a burglary the previous week.
Still no word on the Obama family dog, but the second most recognizable name among animal lovers, Oprah Winfrey, took the plunge and brought a new cocker spaniel puppy into her dog pack. Sadie, her blonde cocker spaniel puppy, made her TV debut on Friday's show.
Winfrey lost her beloved cocker spaniel Sophie last year, found Sadie at the PAWS shelter in Chicago while on a photo shoot for O magazine. As a new puppy parent Winfrey says she's already facing baby illnesses - Sadie has fought off a virus - and new sleeping arrangements. "The first night, we put the crate in the bed," Oprah says. "It's so romantic having a crate right there in the center of the bed."
Another celebrity dog lover, Martha Stewart was in the news this weekend when tragedy struck the kennel where she had purchased champion-line chow chows. A propane tank exploded Friday at the Pazzazz Kennel in Carbon County, Pa., killing 16 dogs and injuring the driver of propane truck and 13 other dogs. Among those that died was a chow chow puppy named Ghengis Khan that was promised to Martha Stewart. Owner Karen Tracy told the Morning Call of Allentown that Stewart, during a phone conversation Saturday, offered her sympathy and seemed more worried about how she and her mother were doing.