Thursday, 14 August 2014

Plastic Bottle Recycling Booth doubles as a water and food dispenser for Homeless Dogs

How great is this!

In Istanbul, Turkey, where an estimated 150,000 stray dogs and cats reportedly wander the streets, a Turkish company called Pugedon believes it has come up with a way to feed the animals: “Smart Recycling Boxes,” a machine that dispenses food and water in exchange for recycled plastic bottles.

The benefits of the vending machine are two-fold: encourage recycling and feed the city’s strays. Recycling is put on top and food is dispensed out the bottom within easy reach for animals in need. There’s even a water dish attached so users can pour the remaining water from a plastic bottle before recycling it. The recycled bottles are supposed to cover the cost of the food.

The problem of managing stray dogs in international cities most recently came to light during the 2014 Winter Olympics, when stray dogs roamed the streets of the Games’ host city, Sochi, Russia. When it was reported that some of the Sochi strays were going to be culled, animal rights activists sprang into action to rescue the homeless pups, and even some of the athletes brought them back to the United States.

Here’s how it works:
  1. Empty the rest of clean water from bottle.

2. Place bottle in opening.

3. Water and food becomes readily available for any hungry dog!

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Victoria Stilwell

One of my all-time favorite dog trainers Victoria Stilwell is one of the worlds most recognized and respected dog trainers. Stilwell is best known for her role as the host of Animal Planet's hit TV series:

“It's Me or the Dog”, where she shares her insights and passion for positive-reinforcement dog training

Reaching audiences in more than 45 countries, Stilwell helps counsel families on their pet problems.

She has a particular fondness for rescue animals in need of behavior rehabilitation and devotes much of her time and energy to a number of animal rescue organizations in New York and Atlanta, serving as a behavior adviser and giving regular seminars on the subject of dog rescue, training and rehabilitation.

Stilwell is a passionate advocate for positive-reinforcement training methods that enhance a dog's ability to learn while increasing his confidence. The results are a healthy, well-adjusted pet. She is a vocal opponent of punitive, dominance-based training techniques, which often result in quick fixes but ultimately cause more long-term harm than good.

She is committed to helping the cause of animal rescue and is heavily involved with rescue groups around the world, including Paws Atlanta, Stray From the Heart (NYC), Hong Kong Dog Rescue and Greyhound Rescue of West England. She works closely with the Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project, Humane Society, Puppy Mill Awareness Day and Waterside Action Group to increase awareness of the horrific practice of puppy-farming globally.

Stilwell has worked as a volunteer adoption counselor for the ASPCA, and regularly features in numerous magazines and journals, such as The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, The Daily Mail,, USA Today and Psychology Today.

Stilwell is a regular columnist for The Bark, Dog World, American Dog and Dogs Today magazines. She has appeared on countless talk shows, news broadcasts and radio shows in the United States, Europe and Asia as a dog-training expert, and her popular Positively Podcast series is heard by listeners worldwide. Named 2009's Dog Trainer of the Year at the Purina Pro Plan Dog Awards, Victoria is certified by Animal Behavior and Training Associates and is a proud member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers.

Her two best-selling books, It’s Me or the Dog: How to Have the Perfect Pet and Fat Dog Slim: How to Have a Healthy, Happy Pet, have received much praise and detail her core rewards-based training philosophy: "There's a better way to train - Positively."

For more information, visit Victoria's official site: or Watch videos of Victoria Stilwell in action.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Shelters refuse to take homeless man In because of his dog, George

Just a little over a year ago, Alex had a nice life going for himself. He had a steady job, a home and had found love, but when all of that suddenly disappeared, his life was understandably turned upside-down.
Alex and his best friend George
Many people don’t consider exactly what must have happened to homeless persons to get them to such a desperate place. Relationship and money issues are things each and every person likely experiences at some point in life, but for Alex the burden was too much to bare and he was left with nothing but his loyal dog on the streets. Professionals 4 People and Jewish House decided to help Alex get off the streets of Sydney and transform his life back around.
Turned down by homeless shelters when he refused to leave his best friend, his dog George, the organizations finally gave Alex a warm place to lay his head. Even George benefited from the transformation, as he saw a vet, while Alex was pampered. Alex seemed to have truly gone from rags to riches, going from having nothing to eat to eating at the best restaurant in town overnight. After receiving a new wardrobe, a massage and even a new job, Alex is finally able to turn his life back around.

Read more at 

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

International Assistance Dog Week 3-9 August 2014

International Assistance Dog Week (IADW) was created to recognize of all the devoted, hardworking assistance dogs helping individuals mitigate their disability-related limitations.
Assistance dogs transform the lives of their human partners with debilitating physical and mental disabilities by serving as their companion, helper, aide, best friend and close member of their family.
International Assistance Dog Week
recognizes and honors the hardworking assistance dogs
  • to raise awareness and educate the public about how these specially trained animals are aiding so many people in our communities
  • to honor the puppy raisers and trainers of assistance dogs
  • recognize heroic deeds performed by assistance dogs in our communities.
  • The celebration takes place each year, starting on first Sunday of August

International Assistance Dog Week was established due to the efforts of Marcie Davis, a paraplegic for over 35 years and CEO of Davis Innovations, a consulting firm based in Santa Fe, NM. 
Davis is the author of Working Like Dogs: The Service Dog Guidebook, a resource book that captures personal stories, checklists and practical tips to provide the reader with an A-Z guide about service dogs and she is the host of the Internet radio program, Working Like Dogs, at
As a member of a service dog team, she founded Working Like Dogs to honor assistance dogs around the world and is sponsoring International Assistance Dog Week.

Marcie & Betty

For more information about assistance dogs, please visit:
Assistance Dogs International
ADI is a coalition of not for profit organizations that train and place assistance dogs.

International Association of Assistance Dog Partners
IAADP is a non-profit, cross-disability organization representing people partnered with guide, hearing and service dogs.

Working Like Dogs
WLD is a resource for people with working and service dogs, or who would just like to learn more about them.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Spanish resort employs first lifeguard dog - Bruno


A resort in Spain has recruited man’s best friend to help patrol its local beaches as its first ever lifeguard dog.

Located in San Pedro del Pinatar, the tourist hot spot has brought in water-loving canine Bruno to help keep beach-goers safe this summer.

Dogtown! Beach resort employs first lifeguard dog
A Spanish tourism resort is trying out the idea of using dogs, 
like the one above, as lifeguards.

Bruno’s owner, David Alvarez, works as a lifeguard and thought about bringing his pet to work when he realized what a good swimmer he was.

“When I realised what a powerful swimmer he was, I did a test and found that he was able to pull plastic containers filled with water weighing 1 1/2 tonnes to shore, and with his powerful webbed feet he can swim around five kilometres before he starts to get into difficulties,” Alvarez said.

The Newfoundland pup is a natural born swimmer with webbed paws like a duck, allowing him to move swiftly through the waves. His two layers of black fur make him completely water-proof and overwhelmingly buoyant, allowing him to rescue people with ease.

“I wasn’t sure if my employers go for it but after trials they really love the idea, and now I think they are planning to get other lifeguard dogs.”

What started out as a brief experiment at the popular beach haven has now transformed into a new wave of four-legged lifeguard.

Bruno regularly accompanies David Alvarez (yellow T-shirt)
on rescue missions in San Pedro del Pinatar

The resort is currently planning to bring in additional pooch recruits to help keep swimmers safe in the future.

Newfoundlands are known to be hardworking dogs that were originally used in Canada to haul wood from the forest and pull nets for fishermen, according to

Monday, 28 July 2014

Human Foods to Avoid for Dogs

There are a number of human foods that you should avoid feeding to dogs as they can have an adverse effect on their health.

Alcohol: affects dogs in the same way it affects humans. High levels of alcohol consumption can cause intoxication, gastrointestinal irritation, respiratory distress, coma and death.

Avocado: contains persin which is in all parts of the avocado. Ingestion causes gastrointestinal irritation, vomiting, diarrhoea, respiratory distress, congestion, fluid accumulation around the tissues of the heart and even death.

Chocolate: contains theobromine (a methlyzanthine) which is toxic to dogs. Toxicity is dose related meaning that the overall effect of chocolate ingestions depends on the size of the dog, the amount eaten and the type of chocolate. 

Symptoms include restlessness, excitement, hyperactivity, nervousness, trembling, vomiting, diarrhoea, increased drinking and urination, increased heart rate and seizures. 

Note that darker chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate. White chocolate has the lowest level of methylxanthines, while baking chocolate contains the highest.

Beloved dog ate entire jar of coffee
Coffee or caffeine products: In large enough doses, caffeine can be fatal for a dog and there is no antidote. Symptoms of caffeine poisoning include restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations and muscle tremors. This also includes tea.

MOLLY, the beloved chocolate Labrador (maybe she should be called Mocha) scoffed an entire jar of coffee and didn’t sleep for three nights.

Cooked bones: can splinter and cause gastrointestinal obstruction or laceration.

Fat trimmings: Fat, both cooked and uncooked, can cause intestinal upset, with vomiting and diarrhoea. It can also lead to your pet to developing pancreatitis.

Grapes, Raisins, Sultanas & Currants: The toxic substance within grapes and raisins is unknown but it can lead to kidney failure.

Onions, Garlic & Chives: These contain a substance that can cause gastrointestinal irritation and lead to red blood cell damage and a form of anaemia. Garlic and chives contain the same substance but at a lesser volume.

Salt: Large amounts of salt can produce excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium ion poisoning. Signs that your dog may have eaten too many salty foods include depression, tremors, elevated body temperature and seizures.

Tomatoes and Potatoes: These contain a substance that causes violent gastro-intestinal problems.

Xylitol (Artificial Sweetener): Causes insulin release in dogs which can lead to liver failure. Initial signs of toxicity include vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination. This sweetener is used in candy, gum, toothpaste, baked goods and some diet foods.

Yeast dough: can rise and cause gas to accumulate in your dog's digestive system. This can be painful and cause the stomach or intestines to rupture. The risk diminishes after the dough is cooked and the yeast has fully risen.

Not all fruits and veggies are good for dogs but carrots are!

Carrots are a great source of beta-carotene for dogs. While many dogs love to just chew on carrots, it’s easier on their digestion if they eat shredded carrots instead of chunks. I have Labs and they think shredded carrots are a treat that they work for. But, if yours won’t eat it directly from your hand, you can take a handful of shredded carrots and sprinkle it on their kibble.

Friday, 11 July 2014


AARF wants your help to raise $25,000 to create a scientifically-designed dog training program that will save lives. 

In April 2014 AARF received a generous donation from the Phyllis Connor Memorial Trust for $36,000 to start a project to design and evaluate a training program to help dogs prevent their diabetic owners from falling seriously ill. The project is set to take off this month at the prestigious La Trobe University in Victoria.

AARF needs to urgently raise $25,000 to complete this innovative life-saving project. Join the campaign at to help AARF raise enough money to finish the job.

Two simple things you can do right now:
  1. Make a tax deductible donation through AARF's campaign page on Click HERE.
  2. Share AARF's campaign page with everyone you know to raise awareness about this Australian innovation.
Want to know more? Check out AARF's Facebook page for more updates and to learn more about what they do. 

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