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Animal shelters are real winners of 'Puppy Bowl'

By SUE MANNING, Associated Press Published: January 29, 2013
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — There will be a winner and a loser every Super Bowl Sunday. But at the "Puppy Bowl," it's always a win for animal shelters.

The show provides national exposure to the shelters across the country that provide the puppy athletes and the kittens that star in the halftime show, and introduces viewers to the different breeds and animals that need homes, animal workers say. Many shelters see bumps in visits from viewers who are inspired to adopt a pet.

"It raises awareness for our shelter and others that take part," said Madeline Bernstein, president and CEO of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles. "It shows dogs in a happy, playful, fun way, which makes people think, 'Gee, I could play with a dog too.' You hope it will also stimulate adoptions, and if not, at least a positive attitude toward dogs, rather than they are just hairy and smelly."

The "Puppy Bowl," an annual two-hour TV special that mimics a football game with canine players, made its debut eight years ago on The Animal Planet. Dogs score touchdowns on a 10-by-19-foot gridiron carpet when they cross the goal line with a toy. There is a Most Valuable Pup award, a water bowl cam, a new lipstick cam (it's in the lips of the toys), slow-motion cameras, hedgehog referees, a puppy hot tub and a blimp with a crew of hamsters. Bios on each puppy player flash across the screen during close-ups of the action, letting viewers know how to find each animal for adoption.

Most of the puppies, however, are usually adopted by airtime since the show is filmed months ahead, said executive producer Melinda Toporoff, who is working on her fifth "Puppy Bowl." But Bernstein said the point is to show that animals just like the ones on the show can be found at any shelter at any time.

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Area pets news briefs

By Kathy Antoniotti / Beacon Journal staff writer Published: January 28, 2013

Spay-Ghetti Date Night; A Celebration of Love — One of a Kind Pet Rescue is sponsoring a dinner from 6 to 10 p.m. Feb. 16 at St. Thomas Banquet Hall, 555 Cleveland-Massillon Road, Fairlawn. The event will feature dinner, music and an auction. Tickets are $40 per person (wine tickets extra). Call Dalal Iskander at 330-620-8102 for reservations or email

Wanted: Teen volunteers — The Akron Zoo is looking for teen volunteers ages 14-18, in the ninth-12th grades and interested in animals and conservation for the Junior Interpreter program for the 2013 season. The program runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Interested teens must fill out an application and submit two forms of recommendation and be interviewed. There is a $100 participation fee. For more information, visit or call Deb Brady at 330-375-2550, ext. 7213.

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Video: Watch the live Puppy Bowl cam

By Published: January 25, 2013

The big game is this weekend, and we don't mean the Super Bowl. That's right, we're talking about the puppy bowl. Lose the rest of your work day watching these adorable pups prep for their doggy showdown.

Live video from your iPhone using Ustream

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After months of care, neglected dog ready of adoption

By Published: January 25, 2013

While a court battle was waged, the Portage County Animal Protection League helped a neglected dog in need.

Tanner, an 11-year-old German Shepherd, was found by a humane officer in Hiram last year. The dog was missing hair had scabs, scars and peeling skin. At 68 pounds, the emaciated dog had trouble walking.

While Tanner's owner faced animal cruelty charges, the Portage APL has treated tanner since August to bring him back to health. The owner eventually pleaded no contest and will be sentenced in March, according to a release from the Portage APL.

After several months of care, Tanner is a stronger and healthier 79 pounds. While he's still thin, the Portage APL notes that its normal for a dog his age.

Now healthy, Tanner is up for adoption. To find out more about the adoption services at the Portage APL, call 330-296-4022.

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Golden retrievers key to lifetime dog cancer study

By SUE MANNING, Associated Press Published: January 24, 2013
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LOS ANGELES: When Jay Mesinger heard about a study seeking golden retrievers to help fight canine cancer, he immediately signed up 2-year-old Louie.

He and his wife know firsthand the toll of canine cancer: Louie is their fourth golden retriever. The first three died of cancer.

"They all had long lives but were taken by complications from one kind of cancer or another," said the Boulder, Colo., businessman.

For Louie and 2,999 other purebred goldens, it will be the study of a lifetime. Their lives — usually a 10-to-14-year span — will be tracked for genetic, nutritional and environmental risks to help scientists and veterinarians find ways to prevent canine cancer, widely considered the No. 1 cause of death in older dogs, said Dr. Rodney Page.

The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study will be the largest and longest dog study ever conducted, said Page, the study's principal investigator, a professor of veterinary oncology and the director of the Flint Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State University.

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Area pets news briefs

By By Kathy Antoniotti / Beacon Journal staff writer Published: January 21, 2013

• Feral Cat Seminar — One of a Kind Pet Rescue is sponsoring a workshop on the humane control of feral cat populations. Trap-Neuter-Return: How to Manage a Feral Cat Colony is 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 26 at the agency’s adoption center, 1929 W. Market St., Akron. Toby Franks from Franks Ferals will lead the program. Registration is not required to attend and there is no charge for the workshop. Donations to the One of a Kind Feral Cat Fund are appreciated. Call 330-865-6200 for more information.

• Feed Nature Realm Creatures — Join Naturalist Renell Simrau in preparing food and feeding an American toad and garter snake at the F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm, 1828 Smith Road, Akron, at noon Jan. 27 and the tiger salamander and brown snake on Feb. 10. The events are appropriate for families with children ages 5 and older. The free classes last about 45 minutes. Registration is required by calling 330-865-8065.

• 137th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show — More than 3,200 dogs representing 187 breeds will compete in the televised show from Madison Square Garden at 8 p.m. Feb. 11 on CNBC and 8 p.m. Feb. 12 on USA Network.

• Fairytales & Frogs — Cleveland Metoparks Zoo, 3900 Wildlife Way, will sponsor the event to be held in the RainForest from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 18. The event is free with admission to the zoo with a paid adult admission, and limited to children 11 and younger. Everyone is encouraged to come dressed as a princess, prince or a frog.

• Animal nutrition clinic — Learn about feed products and animal nutrition at 7 p.m. Feb. 28 at the Community Center at the Medina County Fairgrounds sponsored by Smith Brothers Inc. To attend, RSVP to

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Video: Dogs video chat on Skype

By Published: January 17, 2013

Perhaps Manti Te'o could learn something from these dogs. Too soon?

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Cure for bad pet breath could be a toothbrush away

By SUE MANNING, Associated Press Published: January 15, 2013
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LOS ANGELES: Dogs and cats can't brush, spit, gargle or floss on their own. So owners who want to avoid bad pet breath will need to lend a hand.

"Brushing is the gold standard for good oral hygiene at home. It is very effective, but some dogs and more cats don't appreciate having something in their mouth," said Dr. Colin Harvey, a professor of surgery and dentistry in the Department of Clinical Studies for the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine.

The bulk of bad breath odor — the trademark rotten egg smell — comes from hydrogen sulfide, which is waste from anaerobic bacteria that thrive without oxygen in places like gaps between teeth and gums. Plaque buildup also invites the bacteria and as the accumulation grows, so does the smell.

Animal shelters and rescues know bad breath and filthy teeth can be a deal breaker. Some shelters, such as the Humane Society of Vero Beach & Indian River County in Florida, shuffle their charges through a dental health program before the animals are adopted out.

"We usually do dental cleanings and extractions when animals are spayed or neutered so the animal doesn't have to be put under anesthesia again after adoption and the adopter has one less thing to worry about," said Janet Winikoff, the shelter's director of education.

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Video: Bird dubstep as good as the real thing

By Published: January 14, 2013

There may not be an epic drop, but move over Skrillex. This bird may be the new dubstep king. Just posted Sunday, this video has already topped 1 million views.

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Video: Puppy battles orange

By Published: January 11, 2013

Don't think dogs like fruit? Watch this puppy turn this orange into both a plaything and snack:

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With holiday rush over, Portage APL urges adoptions

By Published: January 9, 2013

The following is a press release from the Portage County Animal Protective League

RAVENNA, Ohio – With the holidays over and the season of giving behind us, Portage APL knows that the next couple of months will bring a lull in activity. So, to celebrate 2013, dog adoptions are only $125 (reg. $150) and cat adoptions are $40 (reg. $50) until the end of January!

“It’s hard to come out of the holidays with record adoptions and worry that the next month or two will slow down. This time of year, we usually see a decrease in adoptions and donations. We’re trying to think of ways to keep our adoptions steady and money coming in.” says Chalan Lowry, Executive Director. “There are still plenty of animals here that didn’t get their “home for the holidays” (some who have been waiting over a year) and we want to help them find a fur-ever home soon!”

All dogs and cats adopted are up to date on vaccines, spayed or neutered, checked for appropriate disease and free of fleas and worms. Many are also microchipped and have an additional medical history.

The Portage APL is a private, nonprofit organization and relies on the generosity and kindness of individuals and businesses to make our community a safer place for thousands of animals who have no voice. We continue to rescue animals every day and the need is constant. Please give a needy animal a loving place to call home! For more information, please call the Portage Animal Protective League at 330.296.4022 or follow us on Facebook to see daily news and stories.

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Video: Newborn kittens fight for milk

By Published: January 7, 2013

This little kitties were just born with the animal instinct to chow down:

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Area pets news briefs

By Kathy Antoniotti / Beacon Journal staff writer Published: January 7, 2013

Cabin Fever Reliever — The Akron Zoo, 500 Edgewood Ave., will offer a cure for the winter blues from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturdays in January starting today. Each Saturday, the zoo will have a free craft station for kids and free hot chocolate for all. The events will be themed around the construction of the Mike and Mary Stark Grizzly Ridge exhibit, opening in late summer 2013. All activities will be indoors at the Barnhardt Family Welcome Center. Winter hours for the zoo are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Admission is $6, free for children under 2. Parking fee is $2.

Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge National Finals — 3:30 p.m. Jan. 12 on NBC. Show is one-of-a-kind canine competition showcasing the world’s most athletic dogs and their trainers. See Vhoebe, a Belgian Malinois from San Diego reclaim her crown at this year’s dog diving competition at an astounding 32 feet 3 inches, a full 2 feet 7½ inches farther than any human has ever jumped. “Olympic-style” events featured in the competition include agility, freestyle flying disc, Jack Russell hurdle races, speed and catch, 30-weave pole racing and dog diving.

Kathy Antoniotti writes about pets for the Akron Beacon Journal. She is unable to help locate, place or provide medical attention for an individual animal. If you have an idea or question about pets, write her at the Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309-0640; call 330-996-3565; or send an email to

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