Monday, November 10, 2008

Help for people with pets

I've been working on an idea for a new Web site that would help people with pets keep their pets during the current financial upheaval. There are simply too many beautiful animals being abandoned - or worse - when people are forced to leave their homes due to foreclosure or the downsizing of their wallets. Granted, there will always be people who welcome any opportunity to dump a dog or cat and being kicked out of their home will be just another great excuse. However, there are many others who love their pet dearly and just need a bit of assistance to stay united with their companion animal.

I put the idea out to my email contacts last month and was heartened to get many replies of encouragement and offers to assist. I've already compiled a fairly good list of resources for low cost vet care, free pet food, medical care assistance, and more, and am tracking down others.

If you know of any avenues of assistance, either on a local level where you live, or nationally, please drop me a note at I hope to get the site online before the end of the year. Thank you!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Good Samaritan fund for pets gets high paws up

Consumers of veterinary services often comment about how pricey the field has become. That's why we had to pass along information about one vet group that's actually giving some of what they make back to the community to help animals.

Veterinary Neuro Services, located in Sarasota, has organized a fund to assist pet guardians who can't afford the cost of neurology care for their companions. They will match dollar for dollar every penny donated to their Pet Neuro Good Samaritan fund. They are also accepting donations from members of the public who might wish to help. For more information about the program and how to contribute, please call 941-929-1818, or visit

Editor's Note: This isn't an endorsement of Veterinary Neuro Services. We have never dealt with this business nor do we know anyone who has. We are just passing along what we feel could be useful information to some people with pets. As with any animal-related business, be sure to conduct your own background check by contacting the Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau and talking to previous or current clients.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Animal also suffer from foreclosures

Florida is one of the states where the number of people losing their homes to foreclosure is highest. Unfortunately, their pets are losing their homes as well. While the people are moving on - most often to a rental house, apartment or the home of a family member - the pets are often not allowed to join them and are being left behind.

It's tragic enough that some of these animals will end up in shelters, after being with their family for years and years. But some are being abandonded in the very places they once loved and trusted life with their family. Sometimes someone is told the pet is there, so the animal can get proper care. More often, however, the pet is left to fend for itself, without water, food or understanding about what's going on.

Dogs and cats aren't the only victims. I read recently where people are also leaving their horses in the barns or fields as they walk away from their home...without a word to anyone.

It's understandable these people are in crisis and perhaps aren't thinking straight. Perhaps they need to vent and so, break out a light or two before they leave their home by force. While that's not a good thing to do, it comes from anger and frustration and despair. I couldn't imagine that kind of pain.

But there's something fundamentally immoral about leaving behind a living, breathing being that would have cheerfully given his or her life for their human. No matter how filled with anger or despair, humans should have enough respect for themselves to make sure their animals will be cared for if they can't take them along after losing their home.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Where to turn when you've lost a companion animal

I started back in October of 2001. As you can imagine, I hear from readers a lot. Perhaps their animal has been featured through the years on as a Pet of the Week, or as a reader's submission in our monthly eZine, the NewsPetter. Or perhaps something I've said on the site or in the newsletter has resonated with them and we connect and, from time to time, exchange email correspondence and photos of our "kids."

Probably the hardest thing for me about having a pet-related Web site and hearing from all our nice readers is when they write to tell me they've lost a companion animal. Our readers don't think of themselves as "owning" an animal, rather they'll chuckle and tell you how that pet "owns" them. is a Web site for people who think of their pet as part of the family and that's the sort of people who read it. So when a pet dies, they've lost a member of the family. It's a big deal as well it should be.

My heart breaks when one of our readers writes to tell me their pet is gone. But I, like so many pet people, have enormous faith that we'll see our beloved companions again one day at Rainbow Bridge. If you haven't heard about this, please check out the link - you'll never be the same once you're read about Rainbow Bridge.

If you've lost a pet and feel sad - yes, it's perfectly OK to be really, really sad when you lose a pet - here are a few other sources that might provide you with comfort and support:

The Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement

Beloved Buddies

University of Florida Pet Grief Support Hotline

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Publix shows caring side for animals

It's rare to find a business that offers free stuff for pets without a catch or sales pitch to go along with it. That's why I have to tell you about something Publix (yes, the grocery store chain) is doing for pets.

Under a program that went into effect last summer, Publix offers a free prescription program for one of seven oral antibiotics. Pets are reaping the benefits too. When veterinarians prescribe one of the drugs, consumers can take the prescription to Publix where they can get a 14-day supply of one of seven medications, including Amoxicillin; Cephalexin, generic of Keslex; Penicillin VK; Ciprofloxacin (excluding Ciprofloxacin XR); Ampicillin; Erythromycin (excluding Ery-Tab), and Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim (SMZ-TMP).

An official from CVS Pharmacy said they too have a program where they provide certain antibiotic drugs for people or pets at no charge.