Honda partners with spcaLA to help people adopt dogs

March 2, 2017

Carlos PenaVega in Honda's 2017 CR-V SUV campaign
Carlos PenaVega in Honda’s 2017 CR-V SUV campaign that promotes the car and dog adoption. (Photo courtesy of Honda)

Honda has teamed up with spcaLA in a campaign to help people adopt dogs. The campaign (which runs from March 2  to March 31, 2017) is also aimed at boosting awareness for the 2017 Honda CR-V SUV. According to a Honda press release, the  promotion will be primarily on Honda’s Latino-oriented social channels, such as @HondaLatino Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. The campaign incorporates the brand’s belief in “The Power of Dreams,” which has been a key theme throughout the CR-V’s marketing launch. Actor/singer Carlos PenaVega (formerly of the group Big Time Rush) stars in a series of three videos for the campaign. The dogs featured in the videos are pets from the spcaLA that are up for adoption.

Honda’s “CR-V Pet Adoption Drive” follows the CR-V’s “Best Friends” Spanish-language TV spot, which debuted on Fox Deportes during football’s big game in February, marking a first for Honda. The spot focuses on the notion that sometimes a dream means helping others realize theirs. It tells the emotional story of a young boy and his mom adopting a puppy together. Over time the boy and his dog develop a fun and loving relationship and the whole family comes together to train the dog. One day, they receive a call they’ve been expecting. In the final moments of the spot, it is revealed that the months-long training activities have been done so that they could gift the dog to another family as a service dog to help a child with special needs.

Cat Fanciers’ Association announces top U.S. cat breeds of 2016

February 12, 2017

by Janice Wells

The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) has announced the 10 most popular cat breeds in the U.S. for 2016.  For the third year in a row, the exotic was No. 1. CFA compiles the list based on its cat registry.

The same cat breeds that were in the Top 10 in 2015 were in the Top 10 in 2016, except the Orienta dropped out of the Top 10 spot and was replaced at No. 10 by the Devon Rex, which jumped from the No. 11 spot that it held the previous year. Other breeds that made the Top 10 in 2016 with a higher ranking than the previous year are the Ragdoll, which jumped from No. 4 to No. 2 ; the British shorthair, which went from No. 5 to No. 3; and the Sphync, which rose from No. 10 to No.. 8. Three breeds in the Top 10 had a lower ranking in 2016 compared to the previous year: the Persian dropped from No. 2 to No. 4; the Maine Coone fell from No. 3 to No. 5; and the Abyssinian went from No. 8 to No. 9.

Here are CFA’s Top 10 cat breeds in the U.S. for 2016:

1.  Exotic

(2015 Ranking: No. 1)

 

2.  Ragdoll

(2015 Ranking: No. 4)

 

3.  British shorthair

( 2015 Ranking: No. 5)

 

4.  Persian

(2015 Ranking: No. 2)

 

5.  Maine Coon

(2015 Ranking: No. 3)

 

6.  American shorthair

(2015 Ranking: No. 6)

 

7.  Scottish fold

(2015 Ranking: No. 7)

 

8.  Sphynx

(2015 Ranking: No. 10)

 

9.  Abyssinian

(2015 Ranking: No. 8)

 

10.  Devon Rex

(2015 Ranking: No. 11)

 

 

‘Cesar Millan’s Dog Nation’ features Cesar Millan and son on road trip to help dogs

February 9, 2017

Cesar Millan's Dog Nation
(Photo courtesy of Nat Geo Wild)

Celebrity dog trainer Cesar Millan is back for a new TV series called “Cesar Millan’s Dog Nation.” The show premieres in the U.S. on Nat Geo Wild on March 3, 2017, at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Here are more details from a Nat Geo Wild press release:

The series will present new challenges for Cesar as he does more than just help dog owners with their pets’ behavioral problems. We uncover inspirational K-9 stories and connect with those that are working to make our world a better place for us and our pets, such as organizations helping veterans and their service dogs, community-run animal rescue groups training K-9 police dogs and therapy dogs that help children with autism. From canine heroes to issues affecting local dog communities, no pup is off limits as the Millans hit the road to help dogs across the country.

During production of “Cesar Millan’s Dog Nation,” the father-and-son duo traveled to seven different cities across the country to find the most unbelievable and inspirational canine stories America has to offer. They met with local hero dogs from Philadelphia, Chicago, the District of Columbia, St. Louis, San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles.

Cesar is also sharing the life-changing lessons he learned from the dogs he has worked with, in an exciting new book. For the first time, the No. 1 New York Times best-selling author shares personal insights from decades of experience and eight very special dogs in his life, in “Lessons From the Pack: Stories of the Dogs Who Changed My Life” (National Geographic Books; on sale now everywhere books are sold; ISBN 978-1-4262-1613-8; 240 pages; $24.95).

Premiere Episodes Include:

City of Angels
Premieres March 3 at 9/8c
World-renowned dog behaviorist Cesar Millan and his protege son, Andre, crisscross the United States to work with nonprofit organizations and dog lovers that are helping save millions of canines around the country. Their first stop is in Los Angeles, where they help an amazing golden retriever named Fergus who survived a horrific burning. Fergus’ owners hope that he can someday become a therapy dog for other burn survivors, but they need Cesar to help with the dog’s behavior while on his leash. Then Cesar and Andre pay a visit to The Help Group, a nonprofit that uses dogs to help kids with autism and other special needs. The dogs seem to help with verbal and mental skills, and even motor skills, helping some kids through an obstacle course. Andre has an emotional moment as he reveals a personal connection.

Borderline K9s
Premieres March 10 at 9/8c
Cesar and Andre Millan journey down the West Coast to visit with heroes of the canine communities of San Diego. After Cesar’s live demonstration downtown, where hundreds of fans have brought their dogs to get real-time take-home tips, Cesar takes Andre to Tijuana, Mexico, to visit with Dog Rescue Without Borders, an organization that works to help lessen the city’s massive stray dog population. The Millans go on a ride along and help rescue from the streets a stray that is in very poor condition, suffering from mange and a variety of other diseases. While in Tijuana, they pay a visit to Mrs. Franco, a woman who runs an animal sanctuary there.

A Whole New Ball Game
Premieres March 17 at 9/8c
World-renowned dog behaviorist Cesar Millan and his protege son, Andre, travel to San Francisco, California, to help locals with their problem dogs and meet some of Dog Nation’s heroes. The first stop is Cesar’s live event at the Pet Express Dog Adoption Fair, where hundreds of fans have brought their dogs to get real-time take-home tips from the experts. Then, the Millans meet Pali, the founder and president of Rocket Dog Rescue, who canvasses local San Francisco shelters trying to find homes for dogs on the euthanasia list. Pali grew up homeless herself, so she identifies with these dogs that society has forgotten. They travel to an Oakland shelter to see Cassie, a pit bull that has behavior issues that make her a tough dog to home. Finally, Andre visits San Quentin State Prison to learn about a program that matches minimum security inmates with shelter dogs. Both parties benefit here — the shelter dogs have a home, and the inmates gain comfort and connection they otherwise would lack.

Meet Me in St. Louis
Premieres March 24 at 9/8c
World-renowned dog behaviorist Cesar Millan and his protege son, Andre, road trip to St. Louis, Missouri — the Gateway to the West — to help as many members of our dog nation as they can. In this episode, Cesar and Andre work with an organization called Serendipity German Shepherd Dog Rescue. The duo hopes to help the organization with a dog named Bruce Wayne that was recently rescued from a puppy mill and shows signs of anxiety and fear around people. Missouri is considered the capital of the puppy mills of the United States, so Bruce Wayne’s story is sadly a common one in the area. The Millans take this opportunity to meet with some local heroes who have been fighting puppy mill abuse in the state. Finally, Cesar and Andre work with a local shepherd mix named Roxie whose owner abruptly passed away. Both Roxie and her new owner, Arian, are still living with their grief, causing extreme separation anxiety for Roxie.

Cesar Millan’s Dog Nation is produced for Nat Geo Wild by Leepson Bounds Entertainment. Executive producers are Cesar Millan, Bob Aniello, Richard Hall and David Leepson. For Nat Geo WILD, executive producer and senior vice president of development and production is Janet Han Vissering and executive vice president and general manager is Geoff Daniels.

2017 Puppy Bowl: see all the cute photos and videos

February 6, 2017

Rory, the poodle mix that was voted Puppy Bowl XIII MVP.
Rory, the poodle mix that was voted Puppy Bowl XIII MVP. (Photo courtesy of Animal Planet)

Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl XIII was the first Puppy Bowl to air simultaneously on both coasts when it premiered on February 5, 2017 (Super Bowl Sunday) with three hours of puppies playing a mock football game. The inaugural Petco Lombarky trophy was awarded in Puppy Bowl XIII at Geico Stadium, a miniature set built for the TV show.

According to an Animal Planet press release, Puppy Bowl XIII kicked off at Geico Stadium with a special appearance by weather forecaster Mr. Punxsutawney Phil. The famous groundhog and two of his inner circle officiated the coin toss to start the game. This year’s Pedigree Starting Lineup boasted 39 puppies who also competed for the individual Bissell MVP (Most Valuable Puppy) by scoring the most touchdowns with dog-approved toys by Petco. This year’s Bissell MVP was Team Fluff’s Rory, a 17-week-old male poodle mix from Little Dog Rescue in Florida.

For the sixth year in a row, America’s favorite “ Rufferee,” Dan Schachner, returned to call the puppy  penalties, furry fumbles and terrier touchdowns.Award-winning animal advocate and television  correspondent Jill Rappaport introduced the Subaru Pup Close and Personal segments that highlight  some of the  heartwarming stories of the adorable athletes.

For Puppy Bowl XIII, Animal Planet worked with 34 different animal shelters and rescue organizations from across 22 states to fill the rosters of #TeamRuff and #TeamFluff with 78 adoptable players for this puppy pile-up. This year, the Bowl also featured three pups with special needs: Doobert (deaf), Lucky (three-legged) and Winston (hearing-and-sight impaired). One special player is drafted to play in Puppy Bowl XIII by celebrity dog Chunk  Handler. Plus, viewers got to see the canines conduct their pre-game rituals when the cameras were allowed in the locker room.

While the puppies broke for a cat nap, the Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Kitty Half-Time Show got underway with a performance by the feline musical group Chicago Rock Cats with Kitty Gaga singing “Puparazzi ” to her little monsters of adoptable rescue kittens.

The puppy teams added rescue mascots to their cheering section. Team Ruff gained the watchful eye of Orlando the Screech Owl, and Team Fluff recruited Muffin the Chinchilla who adds  another layer of fluff. Getting the fans excited on the sidelines are rescue rabb its and guinea pig  cheerleaders who hop into action. “Meep the Bird” got a ma keover and returned as a rescue African Gray Parrot. Meep talked sports with Geico The Gecko and live tweeted updates throughout the big game.

Plus, Puppy Bowl fans got a glimpse of celebrity dogs Chloe the Mini Frenchie, Chloe Kardoggian, Ella Bean, Marnie the Dog, Manny the Frenchie, Mervin the Chihuahua,  Sometimes Carl and Toast Meets World with her siblings Muppets Revenge and Underpants the Dog who watched the biggest game of the year from  the stands. As always, fans witnessed Puppy Bow’s water bowl cam, slow-motion playback cam and fan-favorite Dairy Queen kiss cam. Viewers won’t miss a minute of excitement with aerial shots of the field  from the Sheba Sky Box, and Surge the Hamster was back on his wheel powering the Puppy Bowl score board.

Puppy Bowl Virtual Reality, sponsored by Pedigree, gave viewers a pup’s eye view of the action on the Geico grid iron through the eyes of Buttons, one of this year’s Puppy Bowl XIII players. Not letting her diminutive size hold her back when tackling opponents in a scrimmage spanning two  video halves, Buttons played her way through the piles of puppies, chew toys and assistant coaches to score a winning touchdown.

On game day, puppy supporters were invited to vote in the Most Valuable Puppy poll . Viewer votes determined which heavenly hound gets barking rights and the title of Bissell MVP, which will be revealed at the  end of the broadcast. Before and during the action, keep an eye out for guest takeovers on Animal Planet  Instagram and  Snapchat. This year’s roster includes players from AHeinz57 (Iowa), Big Fluffy Dog Rescue (Tennessee), Citizens for Animal Protection (Texas), Last Hope K 9 (Massachusetts), Miami-Dade County Animal Services (Florida),  Mr. Bones & Company (New York), Nevada SPCA, Paw Works (California), Stray Rescue (Missouri),  among others.

The ASPCA in New York provided adoptable kittens for the Kitty Half-Time Show; the cheerleading rescue rabbits and guinea pigs are from Luv-N- Bunns (Philadelphia) and Helping All Little Things (New Jersey). The chinchilla mascots were provided by Chin Friends Chinchilla Rescue (New York) and the owl flew in from Volunteers for  Wildlife (Long Island). The African parrot was provided by Phoenix Landing rescue (Washington, DC).

(All photos courtesy of Animal Planet)

2017 Kitten Bowl: See all the cute photos and videos

February 6, 2017

Beth Stern and John Sterling (Photo by Marc Lemoine/Crown Media United States, LLC)

“Kitten Bowl”  is an annual feline “catstravaganza” that airs on Super Bowl Sunday and is presented in association with North Shore Animal League America (the nation’s largest no-kill shelter and animal adoption organization) and Last Hope Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation. Hosted by Beth Stern, a TV personality and national spokesperson for North Shore Animal League America, “Kitten Bowl” is a star-studded lineup that includes legendary New York Yankees radio voice John Sterling and referee Chuck Nice. Hallmark Channel aired the fourth annual “Kitten Bowl” in the U.S. on February 5, 2017. Here are videos and photos from the event.

(All photos by Marc Lemoine/Crown Media United States, LLC)

 

Nestlé Purina names pet technology company Obe winner of first Pet Care Innovation Prize

February 2, 2017

Obe's ProBowl
Obe’s ProBowl tracks a pet’s food and water intake, provides feedback on consumption, and alerts pet owners to any changes that are out of the ordinary compared to normal consumption habits.(Photo courtesy of Nestlé Purina)

Nestlé Purina has named high-tech pet bowl company Obe the winner of Purina’s first Pet Care Innovation Prize. The Prize is a partnership between Nestlé Purina and investment firms Active Capital and Cultivation Capital. Obe’s flagship product is ProBowl, a patent-pending, dishwasher safe bowl with a smart base that connects to a phone and WiFi via an app. ProBowl tracks a pet’s food and water intake, provides feedback on consumption, and alerts pet owners to any changes that are out of the ordinary compared to normal consumption habits. The ProBowl app can also sync with Amazon to have pet food automatically delivered to your door.

(Photo courtesy of Obe)

According to a Nestlé Purina press release, more than 80 companies from 11 countries applied for the Pet Care Innovation Prize. Obe was one of five finalists for the award. All finalists received a $10,000 cash prize along with immersion in a multi-day accelerator program in St. Louis. As the grand prize winner, Obe received an additional $10,000 for business development and will be an exhibitor at the 2017 Global Pet Expo, one of the world’s largest pet industry events. Expo attendees can meet Obe’s founders and see the ProBowl in action, and retailers can find out how ProBowl can help them drive traffic to their online and brick-and-mortar stores.

Obe founder Hilary Jensen (Photo courtesy of Nestlé Purina)

Obe is a San-Francisco based company founded by Hilary Jensen, who named the company after her dog, whose nickname was Obe. Jensen commented in a statement: “It’s an honor to be the first-ever winner of the Pet Care Innovation Prize and to be connected with Purina and other great companies who are all working toward the same goal: bettering the lives of pets. The support from the Pet Care Innovation Prize has been invaluable to the growth of the business.”

Jensen added, “We are all busy with a lot to remember. ProBowl takes a few things off your list, so you don’t have to worry. No more texting your spouse to find out whether the dog has been fed, or who is going to pick up the dog food. ProBowl is simple enough that even your 8-year-old can feed your pet the right amount every meal. Knowing ProBowl takes care of the details for me lets me spend more time the way I want, with my dog of course!”

Pet owners interested in pre-ordering the ProBowl, which starts at $99, can visit ObeDog.com for more information. Shipping is expected to begin in the spring of 2017.

Beyoncé sets Guinness World Record with her Instagram announcement that she’s pregnant with twins

February 2, 2017

by Patricia Gilbert

Beyoncé sets Guinness World Record with her Instagram announcement that she's pregnant with twins
Beyoncé announced her twins pregnancy with this Instagram post on February 1, 2017. (Photo courtesy of @beyonce/Instragram)

On February 1, 2017, Beyoncé broke a Guinness World Record when she announced on Instagram that she and her husband, Jay-Z, are expecting twins sometime this year. The Grammy-winning songstress made the announcement on Instagram by posting a photo of herself visibly pregnant, wearing a veil, and sitting in front of a wreath of flowers. The photo was accompanied by this message: “We would like to share our love and happiness. We have been blessed two times over. We are incredibly grateful that our family will be growing by two, and we thank you for your well wishes. – The Carters.” (Jay-Z’s real name is Shawn Carter.) The twins’ sex(es) and due date have not been publicly announced.

According to Guinness World Records, that Instagram post earned the title of the “most-liked image on Instagram,” garnered 6,335,571 likes in less than eight hours. Selena Gomez held the previous record, when she got 6,305,166 likes for an image posted on June 25, 2016, of Gomez sipping from a bottle of Coca-Cola with the caption, “When your lyrics are on the bottle.”

Beyoncé and rapper/mogul Jay-Z got married in 2008, after dating for about six years. The couple’s first child, daughter Ivy Blue, was born on January 7, 2012. Beyoncé publicly announced that pregnancy by rubbing her pregnant abdomen on stage after her performance at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards.

In 2013, Beyoncé revealed in her HBO documentary “Life Is But a Dream” that she had a miscarriage before she became pregnant with Blue Ivy. Beyoncé said in the documentary, “About two years ago, I was pregnant for the first time. And I heard the heartbeat, which was the most beautiful music I ever heard in my life … Being pregnant was very much like falling in love. You are so open. You are so overjoyed. There’s no words that can express having a baby growing inside of you, so of course you want to scream it out and tell everyone.”

She also described when she found out that the baby wasn’t going to be born: “I flew back to New York to get my check up, and no heartbeat,” she said. “Literally the week before I went to the doctor, everything was fine, but there was no heartbeat.”

After the tragedy, she talked about how she dealt with the pain: “I went into the studio and wrote the saddest song I’ve ever written in my life … And it was actually the first song I wrote for my album. And it was the best form of therapy for me, because it was the saddest thing I’ve ever been through.”

Beyoncé’s unreleased song “Heartbeat” is widely believed to be that song.  She also refers to the miscarriage in her song “Sorry” (on her 2016 album “Lemonade”), which refers to her children “both living and dead.”

Petco celebrates grand opening of new stores in New York City and Oklahoma City

February 2, 2017
Petco

Specialty retailer Petco is launching two new stores (in New York City and Oklahoma City) with grand opening celebrations on February 24 to February 26, 2017, and their Wellness Weekends on March 4 to March 5, 2017:

  • QueensRego Park located at 6135 Junction Boulvards, Queens, NY 11374
  • Yukon located at 12444 NW 10th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73099

In addition, Petco has reopened this store after extensive renovations: 903 W. Central Entrance, Duluth, MN 55811

Each new and remodeled store will offer pet parents and their pets dog training areas, adoption centers and grooming salons. The stores will continue to offer a wide selection of branded products as well as private label offerings sold only at Petco, including the Trolls, Dr. Seuss and Star Wars Pet Fan Collections.

Prescription pet food companies hit with class-action lawsuit

February 2, 2017

Photo courtesy of Pope McGlamry
(Photo courtesy of Pope McGlamry)

Several major companies that sell “prescription” pet food have been hit with a class-action lawsuit that claims consumers were overcharged for four food brands: Hill’s Prescription Diet, Purina’s Pro Plan Veterinary Diets, Royal Canin’s Veterinary Diet; and Iams’ Veterinary Formula.

The defendant pet food manufacturers in the case are Mars Petcare US, Inc. , which sells prescription pet food under the brand names Royal Canin and Iams; Nestle Purina Petcare, Co. ; and Hill’s Pet Nutrition Inc.

Additional defendants include PetSmart, Inc.; Medical Management International, Inc.; and BluePearl Vet, LLC.  PetSmart is a major retail seller of prescription pet foods.  Banfield Pet Hospital is the largest chain of veterinary clinics in the United States, and typically operates out of PetSmart.  BluePearl Vet Hospital is the largest chain of veterinary emergency care clinics in the United States.  Pet food manufacturer Mars has a majority ownership stake in Banfield Pet Hospital and wholly owns BluePearl Vet Hospital.

The law firms Pope McGlamry, Ward and Smith, Walkup Melodia Kelly & Schoenberger and Gray Plant Mooty filed the lawsuit in December 2016.

According to a press release issued by Pop McGlamry:

“Prescription pet food is dog and cat food that is sold to the consumer with a prescription from a veterinarian.  However, the prescription requirement comes from the manufacturers and sellers and is not mandated by federal or any other law.  There is no legal mandate for a prescription from the FDA or any other government agency.  Furthermore, there is no significant difference between pet food sold by prescription and regular pet food sold without a prescription, other than a significant price differential.  There are no drugs or medicines in prescription pet food, and the FDA has made no assessments of these products.

“Counsel for the class members assert that pet food manufacturers, and their affiliates, have deceptively marketed this pet food as requiring a prescription, and have colluded to create a market for prescription pet food and to sell this food at prices higher than the prices of regular pet food.

“Consumers who have purchased any of these prescription pet foods over the past three years are urged to be part of this class action lawsuit to recover the money they overpaid, along with additional damages. ”

The lawsuit documents can be viewed as a PDF file here.

Cesar Dry debuts as a line of gourmet dry food for small dogs

February 1, 2017

Cesar, a leading brand in wet food for small dogs, has introduced Cesar Dry, a new line of gourmet dry dog food, designed specifically with small dogs in mind. The new Cesar Dry food turns boring kibble into delicious meat-first meals with a variety of flavors. Dog owners can choose from three delicious varieties of Cesar Dry: Rotisserie Chicken Flavor and Spring Vegetable Garnish, Filet Mignon Flavor and Spring Vegetables Garnish, and Slow Roasted Lamb Flavor and Spring Vegetables Garnish. All three flavors are available now at retailers and pet stores nationwide.

According to Cesar, Cesar Dry is packed with 26 essential nutrients small dogs need. The recipes are made with real meat as the first ingredient, including beef, poultry and lamb. The tender meaty pieces are combined with “H”-shaped kibble, specifically designed with small dogs in mind to help them easily pick up and chew, while also helping to keep teeth and gums clean.