Arrested man apparently fed live cats to dog

In possibly the most horrific pet news since the Michael Vick story broke, Georgia authorities claim that Tye Hilmo, 21, of Dacula trapped neighborhood cats and fed them to his pit bull.The Georgia Police Department charged Hilmo with aggravated animal cruelty. This is a felony which carries a sentence of 1-5 years in jail and a substantial fine as well.
 He has been in the Gwinnett County Jail, with no bond permitted, since deputies searched his house on September 10. They found 2 lbs of marijuana, a few firearms plus 2 feline bodies in his yard, according to police.
In addition, his  mobile telephone had a grisly picture of a canine eating a kitten above a line that reads, “Good dog”, the report states.
At first, the Police officers assigned to the case charged the suspect with some offenses pertaining to the guns and narcotics. But they then tacked on the cruelty to animals charges 2 days ago. It should be noted, however, that some of his neighbors are a bit skeptical of the latter charges.
“He drinks and he is loud…… no question about that,” said Tim Johnson, 31, a neighbor. But he stated that Hilmo really adored animals. He stated that he found these charges “really hard to believe.”
Samson and stepdaughter Ashley McIlvainey, 18, said they are not sure that Hilmo is to blame.

Insects may hurt cat health

The scourges of heat combined with humidity have brought with them a plethera of mosquitoes to Tulsa, oklahoma and it is not just humans who are fighting these aweful critters.

Cats, for instance, might face the dreaded heartworm after being bitten by mosquitos.

The signs to look for might not show for a few months or even years, as the sheer numbers of heartworms often accumulates rather gradually.

Like cats, dogs might show no early signs of heartworms, while severely infected animals might show signs which include a cough, low energy levels, lowered appetite and also weight loss.

Heartworms in dogs are eliminated by a drug known as adulticide, that is injected into a muscle in a sequence of treatments. However, there are no products are approved for the treatment of heartworms in cats in the US at this time, unfortunately.

The risk of reinfection during treatment is eliminated by using a heartworm preventive.

 The mosquito picks up microfilaria while it is feeding on the blood from an infected animal such as a feline.
It is live for some 2 weeks in the salivary glands of a mosquito. The mosquito bites another animal and releases the heartworm larvae into the wound and ultimately the bloodstream.

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  1. Cat Health

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    The

Heavy Outsourcing Complicates Recent Food Recalls

While most people are aware of the high profile headlines concerning the recent pet food and human food recalls,
few people realize the difficulty in tracking the sources, according to a recent AP report by esteemed journalist Andrew Bridges.
This is because if you take a look at the ninety-odd brands composing the recall of canned chili, stew & similiar food items, it all points back back to one manufacturer.
This was likewise the situation regarding the recalls of spinach, frozen meat and of course the now sad and infamous pet food recalls,
in which so many innocent animals were killed or severely sickened.
More than ever before, firms are outsourcing the food Americans consume, or at least the ingredients found in them — and then selling these items under many different brand names.
Many of these tainted ingredients come from China. To add insult to injury, many toys from that country have been found with toxic levels of lead in them.
The real issue here is that if individuals can’t trace a particular item back to it’s supplier, then that supplier has very little, if any, reason to keep their facilities or processing plants up to decent standards.
Oversight is remarkly slack. For example, the major brand in the pet food recalls was a co-regulator of the pet food industry along with the FDA.
Apparently, it all comes down to effeciency and simple economics: Outsourcing makes monetary sense for the firms who are unwilling to expand their existing manufacturing facilities. Established manufacturers may use excess capacity to fill the orders for others.
For some certain products which require expensive machinery — such as pet food for example — a limited number of contract manufacturers, like Menu Foods inc, make products which are then sold under many different brand names,
according to the AP report. The skeptics of this outsourcing believe that, in general, it creates increased vulnerability to our food supply. In essence, the manufacturer is no longer responsible to the consumer, but instead to other firms.
Meanwhile, various food safety advocates have repeatedly stated that when issues crop up with food items made under contract, sorting out who made what may delay recalls and public health warnings in general.
As an example, in July the FDA for a number of hours delayed issuing a consumer warning about botulism contamination in various canned food items until it could sort out the brands under which the Castleberry’s Food Co. product was sold.
In addition to this, there has been a fairly long delay in mandating that imported fruits & vegetables be labeled with their country of origin.

European Behavorial Research on Dogs

European researchers have discovered evidence of an advanced mental ability in canines; one that was previously thought to be specific only to humans!A behavior known as “selective imitation” is a method of learning that brings meaning and cultural context to specific actions. In selective imitation, observers (usually infants) differentiate between two types of behaviors. There are acts of necessity (I can’t use my hands right now because they’re otherwise occupied, so I’ll use my elbow to open the door lever) and there are acts of inefficient preference (even though I can use my hands which are not presently occupied, I like to open the door with my elbow). When human infants observe the two behaviors, they will adopt the latter skill (i.e., the latter behavior is “selected”).

In a recent study, dogs learned in just the same way. Dogs watched a demonstrator dog pulling a rod with a paw, rather than with the mouth. When the demonstrator dog carried a ball in its mouth, the actions were not adopted by the observer dogs. But, when the demonstrator dog had no object in its mouth and pulled the lever with a paw, the observer dogs began to adopt the behavior.

Certainly, further research is warranted in this area, but researchers are excited by these results which seem to indicate that our canine companions may have more complex learning abilities that previously believed.

More Pet Food Recall Updates

The recent food recalls have truly hit North America by storm. Merely a day after the first dry food was added to the more than fifty dog brands and forty plus cat brands affected by the recall, the list was further expanded on March 31 to also include a new brand even as authorities were baffled as to why the substance would kill dogs and cats, according to a report on Excite News. Nestle Purina PetCare Co. said it was recalling all sizes and all varieties of the Alpo Prime Cuts & Gravy wet dog food with certain date codes. They stated that some of the food had a contaminated wheat gluten that was from China. This gluten is supplied to numerous brands in fact. For instance this same U.S. supplier furnished wheat gluten, which is a protein source, to a Canadian firm, Menu Foods, which this month recalled recalled some million containers of wet dog and cat food it produces for sale under nearly one hundred brand labels. On April second another major supplier took a hit when the Science Diet announced a recall. This was particularly significant because this was a brand that many veternarians had been recommending for some time. The next day Yahoo News reported that many dog and cat owners were cooking or otherwise preparing their own food for their animals. Menu Foods and the FDA, which regulates the pet food industry, have refused to identify the firm which supplied the contaminated wheat gluten in question. Does this indicate menu Foods and other big suppliers are policing themselves? In this era of Enron, Worldcom, and corporate greed in general, is it a good idea to let the big boys police themselves? Is that fair to our pets, who cannot speak out on their own? To me, the fact that the powers that be who regulate the industry refuse to disclose the name of the Chinese forim providing the badingredient seems to reinforce some suspicions that I have. Protecting this company but not protecting our pets? I am recommending to everyone that will listen to buy a premium dog or cat food for their pet. Hill’s Pet Nutrition has stated on the 30th of March that its Prescription Diet m/d Feline dry cat food included the tainted wheat gluten. The FDA said the source was the same unidentified company. Hill’s, a division of Colgate-Palmolive Co. Meanwhile, a May 6 article in the Progressive Grocer stated that Wegmans cat food had also been ‘pulled into the web of the notorious Menu Foods pet food recall’. This firm has added to it’s rather extensive reacall list some items that do not have wheat gluten. Who knows what brand will be recalled next. The best brand I an aware of is Premium Cat Food from Life’ Abundance and Dr. Jane

but there are several top notch premium pet foods out there to choose from. Look for whole food ingredients
and freshness above all else. The ones that mention they are human grade are also usually a safe bet in my experience.

Pet Food Recall: a personal story

When the phone started to ring and my email started to fill, I knew something must have happened again in the world of dog and cat food. As of this writing more foods have been recalled and a few more ingredients besides wheat gluten have been added to the list of “not to safe.” As reported by OregonLlive.com posted by The Associated Press and The Oregonian “Ingredients imported from China that went into recalled pet food may have been intentionally spiked with an industrial chemical to boost their protein content, federal officials said today. That’s one theory being pursued by the Food and Drug Administration as it investigates how the chemical, melamine, contaminated at least two ingredients used to make more than 100 brands of dog and cat foods. Melamine has been found by U.S. laboratories in both wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate imported from China.” Melamine, an ingredient in plastics and fertilizers could lead to kidney failure in animals. Stephen Sundlof, chief veterinarian for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), said melamine, which has turned up in more than 100 brands of cat and dog food, might have been used to falsely boost the apparent nutritional content of rice protein. Melamine can skew test results to make a product appear more protein-rich than it really is, Sundlof said. You think when you are buying food that all pet food manufacturers have your pet’s best interests in mind …………..right? – After all, who doesn’t love your pets more? Current pet food regulations allow manufacturers to use ingredients that you would never knowingly give to your pet. For example: by-products used (feet, bones and intestines, etc.), or as some of you heard the 4 D’s, dead diseased, dying and disabled Chemical preservatives (BHA and BHT) should not be in your pet’s food. Look for grains that are often difficult to digest (corn, wheat, gluten and soy), which are often used as a protein source instead of meat, should be avoided If you switch to premium dog food, switch your pet’s diet to premium treats, bones and supplements. Often times we over look what else we are giving them. Treats can contain the harmful and not so healthy ingredients as listed above. Life’s Abundance Premium Food for Puppies & Adult Dogs is made using only fresh, human-quality ingredients. It is a nutrient dense food with high quality meat proteins and NO by-products, corn, wheat, gluten or soy. NO artificial flavors, colors, sugars or chemical preservatives. Lori Matthews studies health, nutrition and wellness. She enjoys writing articles on health for both people and pets. Please visit healthy dog food by Lifes Abundance for additional information about premium dog food, premiuim cat food, the recall and pet health in general.

Pet Owners Scrambling?

The pet food recall seems to be getting even worse. Now, the chemical melamine has been found in the recalled foods.According to an article from the March 31, 2007, issue of  The Oregonian, the Food and Drug Administration said Friday, it had found melamine in samples of pet food, as well as in imported wheat gluten that was used as an ingredient in the pet food. Melamine is a chemical used to make plastics.Now, it appears that the contamination is not just limited to wet foods, it is also found in dry food.  The FDA found melamine in the wheat gluten of Prescription Diet m/d Feline dry food and on Friday, March 30, Hill’s Pet Nutrition announced the recall.Menu Foods has recalled a phenomenal 95 brands of cuts-and-gravy type dog and cat food made between December 3, 2006 and March 6, 2007.  Wheat gluten was cited as the cause of that recall and the wheat was said to be imported from China. 

It’s mind blowing! 95 brands of food!  95 brands of food!  Two questions immediately come to mind; 1) Who was conducting the quality control; and 2) Why was the wheat imported from China?

It’s starting to get confusing, because just a week ago, New York State Food Laboratory identified aminopterin – a rat poison as the problem.

With melamine also a suspected culprit, and with 95 brands contaminated, you might be thinking are there any safe foods left for my pet?  If so, where can they be found?

There is one brand of food that has not been recalled and it does not contain corn or wheat and it is SAFE for your pets.  The name of that food is Lifes Abundance Cat Food and Life’s Abundance Dog Food.  Online resources can be found at http://www.BestFurryFriend.com or http://www.Dog-Food-Zone.com .

Your best friend deserves a fresh, wholesome, nutritious and SAFE food.  And, it seems like there aren’t many available!  So look into Life’s Abundance and see if it might just be what you are looking for.

Pet Food recall Update

Here is a quick update on the pet Food recall: rat poison was not found in the recent batch testings, and Dry food was recalled today for the first time. Also, according to the National Ledger (March 30, 2007), The pet food recall has now widened to include at least 1 brand of dry food.  According to the Fox News, Hills Pet Nutrition recalled 1 of its brands of dry cat kibble for fear it contains melamine, which is the very same toxin which forced Menu Foods to pull “cuts and gravy” products from shelves across North America recently.

It is a kind of cat food which is called Prescription Diet m/d Feline Dry food.  The firm states that it is not taking any chances after melamine, a chemical used as a  fertilizer in Asia and also to make plastic kitchenwares, was identified as the most likely culprit in the Menu Foods recall – one of the largest of its kind ever in North America.

Should you be Concerned about the Pet Food Recall?

Many dog and cat owners are worried that the food they have been feeding their pet may not be as safe, much less as nutritionally balanced, as they were led to believe. This concern is perfectly understandable, particularly since tainted dog and cat food has been linked to the deaths of at least 23 animals. After all, the current recall has been quite widespread, with over fifty dog brands and more than forty cat brands recalled at this time, including some of the largest brand names out there such as Iams, Best Choice and Eukanuba. In a March 21, 2007 Newsweek article by journalist Matthew Philips entitled ‘Is pet food properly regulated?’ the report states: ” …..authorities still cannot explain exactly what went wrong. Some critics and animal lovers are honing in on what they see as lax regulation of the fifteen billion dollar pet-food industry in the United States.” It should be noted that this recall has not only impacted the U.S. Canada and mexico as well. “There is almost a void there,” states Bob Vetere, president of the APPMA, or the American Pet Product Manufacturers Association. “There is no real pet-food department of any federal agency.” This news is very troubling, but it comes as no surprise to some. I have been hearing about the rendering plants for a while now, and it is clear to me that where there is smoke there is usually fire. Sadly, the standard was low from the start. The first dog food sold was produced in 1860. A salesman named James Pratt was visiting Great Britain from America and saw dogs surviving off of mere left-over biscuits from ships. So he decided to prepare a dog biscuit product consisting of wheat meal and meat, and begin selling them entirely to English rural gentlemen who owned sporting dogs. So at one time dogs subsisted of of scraps, meaning the quality of the produced food never had to be particularly high. The current problem has been linked to rat poison by some sources, but there are many, many other problems with mainstream brands as well. For example, artificial coloring is used extensively despite the fact that they are totally unnecessary and have been linked to medical issues. It is believed by some in the medical field that if an ingredient is foreign to the body the body reacts to it and can cause numerous health problems. Pets are not concerned about color too much. In addition, by-products are a way for dog food or cat food companies to keep their costs down and therefore profits up. Instead of using whole meats, they simply use by-products instead. These are simply the least desirable parts. And there are a number of other items which the labels do not always reveal. For instance, condemned parts of animals which are not fit for human consumption are often rerouted into commercial treats. These parts may be the parts of animals who are dead, dying, decayed or actually diseased. Furthermore, specific meats & other ingredients can’t be sold for use by people, because it is damaged or has some other kind of defect. The dimensions of the problem may be so sizeable that we might not know the reasons for this tragedy for some time. According to a recent MSNBC article, “Some of the 60 million cans and pouches of food have been blamed for kidney failure in scores of animals and killed over 16 pets. Neither the manufacturer nor the authorities have been able to determine why the pets died”. The article mentioned that articles are already being filed by consumers, which calls into question the future of some of these pet food firms. Should you stick with a mainstream brand or go to a premium grade food? Considering that many of the mainstream brands are owned by the same parent company I would be inclined to go with the latter. Who knows what brand will be recalled next. The best brand I an aware of is Life’s Abundance Premium Dog Food from Dr. Jane and also Holistic, Premium Cat Food and supplements but there are several top notch premium pet foods out there to choose from. Especially look for whole food ingredients and freshness above everything else. The ones that mention they are human grade are also usually a safe bet in my experience.

Choosing the Right Dog food

This article is especially important to me because of the recent pet food recall including both dog and cat food. Please visit your vet immediately if you see any signs that may appear “abnormal” behavior. It may have nothing to do with what they ate but it is better to be safe than sorry. As I write this article on March 25, 2007, the recall has widened to include all wet food as a safety precaution regardless of the date code, reports the Globe & Mail. Retailers have been asked to remove all of these foods. The “recall” list can be found by visiting www.menufoods.com/recall/. As you may or may not have heard there has been a huge pet food recall on numerous brands of dog and cat food that may contain aminopterin, rat poison. Yes, rat poison. At this time there is no news as to how it got into the food. It has been reported this has been the cause of at least 16 deaths as well as more that are very ill and receiving treatment. What can separate the premium food from mainstream? Sadly, current pet food regulations permit producer’s to use ingredients that you would never knowingly give to your dog or cat. In fact, you may be shocked to learn what some brands of pet food really contain. For example: the use of by-products (feet, bones and intestines, etc.), chemical preservatives (BHA and BHT) and grains that are often difficult to digest (corn, wheat, gluten and soy), which are often used as a protein source instead of meat. Be Aware of Unfavorable Ingredients By-products – basically this is what is left over when the good cuts of meat are taken for humans. Bones, intestines, heads, feet, tendons, ligaments and other body parts are known as by-products. Grains such as soy, corn, corn gluten and wheat gluten are often used as protein sources; however, they are often either inferior and difficult to digest. Chemical Preservatives including BHA, BHT and ethoxoquin can be very harmful to pets. Freshness – Big corporate manufacturers produce both dog and cat foods in massive batches which may last for a long period of time, so you might be feeding your animal food which is 6 months or even a year old. These are only some things to stay away from. Look to see if your dog or cat food contains vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and bacteria cultures to name a few. Remember, what your vet recommends as premium dog food might be the farthest thing from healthy. Lori Matthews studies health, nutrition and wellness. She enjoys writing articles on health for both people and pets. Please visit her site containing information on quality, premium dog food by Life’s Abundance This is an all natural, holistic dog food formulated by Dr. Jane Bicks. In light of the recent dog food recalls which have affected thousands of consumers and tainted over 50 brands, you can only imagine how important it is to feed our pets the proper food. It is obviously important to feed premium, quality foods for their wellness and in some cases even their mental well being.