Archive for April, 2010

Animal Advocate walks 2,000 miles for Canine Cancer Research

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Today it was announced that Megan Blake (, pet-lifestyle coach and host of the PBS show Animal Attractions TV along with Super Smiley, the spokes dog for Throw Away dogs (, have joined passionate animal advocate Luke Robinson and his two Great Pyrenees dogs on their 2 Dogs 2000 Miles ( walk across the U.S. from Austin, Texas, to Boston, Massachusetts, to raise awareness and money for canine cancer research.

Luke’s heroic trek was inspired by the death of his beloved dog Malcolm to metastatic bone cancer in 2006. The heart-wrenching loss changed his life forever and precipitated immediate action. In 2008, Luke sold his truck, packed his belongings and hit to road to share his story with America. Today Luke and “the boys” have been on the road for approximately two years.

“I’m honored that Megan took time out of her life in California and all the wonderful things that she does for animal rights to come join Hudson, Murphy and myself this week walking. It’s going to be an amazing adventure and we’re going to have a ton of fun,” stated Luke Robinson.

Megan and Super Smiley will join them on the last leg of their trip in the Baltimore, New Haven and Connecticut areas between April 11 and April 18. Megan and Super Smiley will also rejoin the team on June 18 for the closing ceremonies in Boston.

Megan is a passionate animal lover, rescuer, spokesperson and long-time supporter of Luke’s cause. She knows that one in four dogs will die of canine cancer and that it’s the leading cause of death in dogs over age two. As a result, Luke’s walk remains close to her heart.

“Smiley and I are so honored that Luke, Hudson and Murphy invited us to join their 2 Dogs 2000 Miles walk to raise awareness for canine cancer,” stated Megan Blake. “Smiley is excited that he gets to speak for Throw Away dogs along the way. Life is an adventure and this is one of the great ones! Pawsome!”

Super Smiley on the other hand has launched his own Happy Campaign which is part of a larger initiative to raise awareness around animal adoption and rescue. He aims to support his canine friends not only through his work as the spokes dog for Throw Away dogs, but also by walking paw by paw for Luke’s great cause.

“Having lost two dogs to cancer myself, this cause is very near and dear to me. I plan to continue doing whatever I can to support Luke,” added Megan Blake.

Bark Busters Offers 10 Tips for Managing Your Dog’s Fear of Thunderstorms

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

As thunderstorm season creeps up on us, we want help dog owners know how to manage their dog’s fear of the booming thunder. Bark Busters offers 10 tips for managing your dog’s fear of thunderstorms. While thunderstorms may cause panic, dogs can be trained to manage their reactions and feel calmer through all the noise and bright flashes.

“Thunderstorms are a common fear in dogs, causing many to panic and run away, become destructive, or even hurt themselves,” said Gerard Raneri, dog behavioral therapist and trainer, Bark Busters USA. “Dogs can sense that a storm is on the way, and they often begin to show signs of anxiety even before the storm can be heard.”

Raneri offers these tips to help your dog learn to be relaxed during storms, fireworks or other loud disturbances that may be frightening to him.

Always keep proper identification securely fastened to your dog’s collar in case he gets out. Consider talking to your veterinarian about implanting a universal microchip in your pet for lifelong identification. Remember to update your veterinary clinic and animal shelter with your correct contact information.

Give your dog a safe place to stay during storms. Inside your home, create a quiet den-like area where your dog can feel secure. A properly introduced crate or kennel can be a calming refuge for him. When a storm is brewing, lead your dog to his special place to help him feel calm and protected. It’s very important to introduce this den or crate long before the storms start.

If your dog lives outside, cover his doghouse or dog run with a blanket to shield him from the bursts of lightning. Outside dogs can get lost or even injured if they escape their fenced yards in fear during storms.

Dogs can pick up fear or discomfort with storms from their family pack members, so it is important that you develop a calm, matter-of-fact attitude. Let your dog stay close and try to distract him with activities like play or brushing. Do not try to reassure him in a sympathetic voice—this will sound like praise and may increase his nervousness and confusion.

Some dogs become destructive when frightened. A crate is always the best way to keep your dog safe and your belongings intact. If you don’t use a crate, remove any items in the room your dog could destroy or could hurt him if he chewed them.

During a storm, keep windows and curtains closed to reduce noise and bright flashes. Turn on a TV or radio playing soft music at normal volume to distract your dog and help him to relax.

Keep your dog away from doors that lead outside. Your dog may be under significant stress, which could result in unnecessary injury to others entering your home or cause him to dart outside and get lost or injured.

Your dog may become incontinent due to his extreme fear and the rush of adrenaline he experiences during a storm. Be prepared for this, and don’t react if it occurs.

Dogs that continue to panic in thunderstorms may have to be reconditioned by creating an artificial storm with environmental recordings. While reconditioning can be a time-consuming procedure, it can have a high success rate. A qualified Bark Busters dog behavioral therapist can help your dog be calmer during storms.

In the most extreme cases, medication in conjunction with training may be the best solution to help your dog cope with his fear of storms. Consult with your veterinarian about possible treatments.

Your dog’s phobia of thunderstorms won’t get better on its own. Help him learn that it’s just noise and is nothing for him to worry about. When he learns to relax and remain calm, you can relax and not worry about your dog during future storms.

The Empire State Building Will Shine Orange and White for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

The Empire State Building will honor the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) by shining its world-famous tower lights in orange and white from Friday, April 16 to Sunday, April 18, 2010 to celebrate Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month and the organization’s Go Orange for Animals campaign.