Wednesday Wag Oct. 21

Diamond brand cat food recalled

The Federal Drug Administration has issued a voluntary recall of certain cat foods manufactured by Premium Edge Pet Foods under the Diamond Pet Foods brand name. The affected brands were found to contain an inadequate level of thiamine, which may cause clinical signs of thiamine deficiency in cats eating this food. Diamond Pet Foods has issued a voluntary recall on the following date codes of Premium Edge Finicky Adult cat food and Premium Edge Hairball cat food: RAF0501A22X 18 lb., RAF0501A2X 6 lb., RAH0501A22X 18 lb., RAH0501A2X 6 lb. The date of manufacture is May 28, 2009. All retail outlets shipped the above lots were contacted, asking them to pull the product from the store shelves. Consumers are asked to return the food to their retailer. Symptoms displayed by an affected cat will be neurological in nature. Symptoms may include wobbly walking or muscle weakness, paralysis of the hindlimbs, seizures, ventroflexion (bending towards the floor) of the neck, and abnormal eye movement called nystagmus. Any cats fed these date codes that display these symptoms should be immediately taken to a veterinarian. To contact Premium Edge Pet Foods, please call 800-977-8797 between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm central time, Monday through Friday.

Philadelphia's feline piano phenom wins national award

Nora, the piano-playing cat from Philadelphia who became an Internet star, will be honored by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals at its annual awards luncheon next week. The 5-year-old gray tabby was adopted from a shelter in Cherry Hill, N.J. and on Oct. 29 she will receive Cat of the Year honors at the ASPCA's annual luncheon in New York. Her owners posted videos of Nora playing the piano on YouTube and a star was born. Now Nora is being recognized as a great example of a shelter pet. Other recipients include 11-year-old Monica Plumb, who launched to help save pets in fires. Dog of the year: Archie, a black Lab service dog for Sgt. Clay Rankin, who suffered spinal injuries in Iraq. The Hingham (Mass.) Fire Department, who helped save a black Lab named Ollie who fell through thin ice. And a lifetime achievement award for Richard O'Barry, who trained dolphins for Flipper, has since rescued and released dolphins around the world and recently created a documentary helping to expose dolphin hunting in Japan.


Sponsor an oxygen mask for pets

Apparently Plumb isn't the only one concerned about pets in fires. BARK 10-4 is a new campaign that just launched to help fire departments nationwide get the much needed pet oxygen masks for every fire truck. During October, National Fire Safety Month, industry leaders and pet safety experts are teaming up with fire departments nationwide in a “Bark 10-4” campaign to raise awareness of the need for Pet Oxygen Masks. Every year, an estimated half million pets are affected by fires in the United States and over 40,000 pets die each year due to smoke inhalation. With the right equipment, police, fire and EMS rescuers can often save a pet's life. Pet Oxygen Masks are effective with dogs, cats and other companion animals, but only if they are on hand at the scene of an emergency. “Bark 10-4” was created with the goal of getting a mask for every fire truck by encouraging the public to sponsor the purchase of Pet Oxygen Masks for their local fire departments. Individual SurgiVet® masks cost $25; and a mask set, which includes a small, medium and large mask, is $65. Each sponsor can designate the specific fire department to receive the gift. For more information or sponsorship visit:

Greyhounds on the move

The Philadelphia-based National Greyhound Adoption Program has relocated. Last week it moved 80 rescued (and adoptable) greyhounds from its old kennel facility in Bridesburg to its new state-of-the-art kennel in northeast Philadelphia. The rescue now has a 100,000 square foot kennel complex with spacious runs, comfy beds and even piped in music. A surgical and dental facility will open next year. The new kennel is located at 10901 Dutton Road.

Under the Capitol dome

Voters in Ohio may soon have the chance to register their feelings about dog auctions. A ballot initiative was recently certified this month allowing advocates to move forward with collecting the necessary 120,683 signatures to get the "Ohio Dog Auctions Act" on the ballot next year. Dog auctions, where sick and injured dogs have been sold for as little as $1, are banned in Pennsylvania. Earlier this month nearly 400 dogs from about a dozen Pennsylvania breeders were sold to the highest bidders on the Ohio auction block. For a report on conditions at that auction click here.

In Michigan, Gov. Jennifer Granholm signed a landmark bill that will extend some protections to farm animals. A result of extensive negotiations between humane and agricultural groups, the law requires that certain farm animals - veal calves, breeding sows and laying hens - have enough room to stand up, lie down, turn around and extend their limbs, rather than being confined in tiny cages.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill which sought to impose a cap of 50 adult unsterilized breeding animals confined in any large-scale kennel. He also vetoed a bill that sought to bar felons convicted of animal abuse from owning animals. He did, however, sign a bill banning the practice of docking the tails of dairy cows.

In Harrisburg, members of the House Game and Fisheries Committee take up the issue of private ownership of exotic pets and wildlife today. The meeting comes a few weeks after an Allentown-area woman was mauled to death by a 350-pound captive pet bear as she cleaned its cage. Her husband's license to sell exotic wildlife had expired the previous year. It's unclear if any legislation is under consideration.