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Household items can present risks to pets

By SUE MANNING, Associated Press Published: April 30, 2013
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LOS ANGELES: A toy poodle that was rushed to the vet after swallowing a tube sock. A Great Dane that had to be operated on three times for eating his owner's shoulder pads.

These are just a couple of examples of the emergency cases Dr. Karen Halligan has seen involving household items that seem harmless until an animal decides to munch on them.

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Photo: Mutt Madness winner Hollyann

By Dan Kadar Published: April 23, 2013

The three winners of's Mutt Madness contest have been picked. Here is little Hollyann. So cute!

If you want to see all the Mutt Madness entries, just click here.

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GIFS: Incredible dog halftime show

By Published: April 22, 2013

Half time at a basketball game is typically an unforgettable experience. They often feature half-court shots, silly games and maybe if you're lucky a person on a unicycle tossing plates on their head.

But things in Oklahoma City are a little different. Check out these dog tricks:

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Video: Sloth gets affectionate with cat

By Published: April 19, 2013

Generally, a sloth, with it's giants claws, looks like Edward Scissorhands. But they look totally adorable embracing a cat. Observe:

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Photo: Mutt Madness winner Watson

By Published: April 11, 2013

The three winners of's Mutt Madness contest have been selected. Check out Watson, one of the champs. So sly.

If you want to see all the Mutt Madness entries, just click here.

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Spring means yard work for hummingbird watchers

By SUE MANNING, Associated Press Published: April 10, 2013
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LOS ANGELES: The world's smallest bird can take up a big chunk of a person's spring to-do list: Trim the trees, weed the garden, make the nectar and hang the feeders.

With the beginning of spring, hummingbirds are making their way north after migrations that took many of them more than 500 miles across the Gulf of Mexico. They will return to the same yards where they have stayed in the past.

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Video: 'Teenage Average Normal Turtles'

By Published: April 10, 2013

Maybe you have to be a child of the 1990s to really dig this, but meet the Teenage Average Normal Turtles.

We dare you to not get "When shreds of lettuce are snacks, these turtle boys don't cut 'em no slack," stuck in your head.

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Experts: Don't attempt to save swept-away pets

By SUE MANNING, Associated Press Published: April 9, 2013
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LOS ANGELES: Watching as a beloved dog is swept out to sea is heart-wrenching. Doing nothing seems unthinkable.

But experts say that is exactly what a dog owner should do: nothing.

"The human-animal bond is no joke. Most pet owners are very attached to their pets," said Dr. Lynn Miller, a veterinarian who runs the animal clinic at Travis Air Force Base, north of San Francisco. "But you're not going to save your dog by risking your own life. It does your dog no favors in the end if he comes back and you're dead. Then what is he going to do?"

Five people have died in attempted dog rescues in Northern California since November, said Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Pamela Boehland, based in Alameda, Calif. A couple of months ago, Boehland teamed up with the National Park Service and the East Bay SPCA on a campaign to keep people on dry land if their dogs get caught up in the surf.

The average dog is a better swimmer than the average human. Dogs such as Labrador retrievers, German shepherds and pit bull terriers are built like boats, the vet said. Their heads are above water, they have a low center of gravity, they have four legs for propulsion, their lungs have a higher capacity than a human's, their fur keeps them warm in cold water — and many have waterproof undercoats — and some dog breeds have webbed feet.

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Man buys poodles only to find out they're ferrets on steroids

By Published: April 8, 2013

Thanks to professional baseball, we understand the impact of steroid on athletes.

But what if a ferret is given steroids? Apparently, it can be sold as a Toy Poodle.

An Argentina man spent $150 on what he thought was two poodles. When he took his "dogs" to the veterenarian, he found out he was tricked into buying two ferrets pumped up with steroids.

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Ant farms nurture curiosity, interest in children

By SUE MANNING, Associated Press Published: April 5, 2013
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LOS ANGELES: What does it take to elevate the common ant from picnic pest to household pet?

To thousands of children and many adults, the answer is a bit of soil and a see-through enclosure that, in these modern times, can be made from an extra CD case or bought tricked out with special projection lights.

Ant farms, the narrow glass or plastic containers filled with soil that mimic ant colonies, have been popular among generations of children, and marketers say they remain in-demand even in the age of computers and video games.

Uncle Milton Industries, a Los Angeles-based company that has been in business for six decades, has sold more than 20 million ant farms. Company founder Milton Levine and his brother-in-law invented the ant farm nearly 60 years ago, and the company continues to update its main product, such as with a version that includes a light that projects the ants' shadows on the ceiling.

"As the world gets more complex, some of these classic toys become more popular," said Ken Malouf, vice president of marketing and product management.

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