Thursday, January 29, 2009

Best-selling author Temple Grandin in Seattle tomorrow at Third Place Books

Best-selling author of Animals in Translation, Temple Grandin, will be in Seattle tomorrow to promote her new book Animals Make Us Human: Creating the Best Life for Animals.

Third Place Books
17171 Bothell Way NE,
Lake Forest Park, WA 98155

Friday, Jan. 30 at 6:30 p.m.

Temple Grandin is inarguably the most accomplished and well-known adult with autism in the world. She has a Ph.D. in animal science and is a professor at Colorado State University. A passionate and effective animal advocate, Grandin spearheaded reform of the quality of life and humaneness of death for farm animals. In her new book Animals Make Us Human, Grandin shows us a revolutionary way to create the best and happiest life for our animals -- on their terms, not ours.

To read our full review of Animals Make Us Human, pick up a copy of the winter issue of CityDog Magazine -- on newsstands now -- or subscribe today!

Ms. Grandin will also be on KUOW's (94.9 FM) The Conversation tomorrow at 1 p.m.

CityDog in the West Seattle Blog

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Fun event for the whole family

Hotel For Dogs at Regal Cinemas Auburn Stadium 17
January 31 Auburn, Wash., 12pm–4pm. Regal Cinemas Auburn Stadium 17 and King County Animal Shelter will be celebrating the release of the new movie "Hotel For Dogs" this Saturday, January 31st. Stop by and adopt a new friend, become a foster parent, make a donation, or become a volunteer. For show times and tickets, click here.

For more events including the upcoming CityDog Puppy Love Muttmixer on Feb. 11, click here!

Follow up to 60 Minutes story and inspiration to animal lovers

It's a ruff economy (pun intended). But, underneath this dark cloud of recession, sometimes there is a silver lining.

Last Sunday, I happened to be watching 60 Minutes. What caught my attention (and apparently Ellen DeGeneres') was a segment on Ernie Bjorkman, a popular Denver news anchor for more than 26 years, who was recently laid off as a result of a merger of two competing news stations.

Ernie decided to take on his true passion which was to work with animals in veterinary medicine. He dropped everything and went back to school to become a Vet Tech. Now that he's graduated, he's pursuing his dream -- with a substantial pay cut (and I mean substantial pay cut), but a significant increase in his overall happiness.

Ellen DeGeneres, co-owner of Halo Purely for Pets, was moved by Ernie’s story and asked him to be a guest on today’s broadcast of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. (I missed it, but maybe you caught it?)

Apparently, Halo Purely for Pets has decided to help a fellow pet lover out and has arranged for the veterinary clinic that hires Ernie to receive a year’s supply of Halo products. Ellen surprised Ernie with this exciting news on her show today.

I love a happy story and will keep you posted on the veterinary clinic that hires Ernie -- who is an inspiration to animal lovers everywhere!

Puppy Mills: A Scourge on Society

I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but I feel the need to ask this… After everything in the news about puppy mills, who in their right mind would buy a puppy from a pet store or even over the Internet? If you love dogs, the last place you should be shopping for one is in a pet store or online (with the exception of adoption sites like, of course).

Near my hometown of Seattle, we’ve seen two, alleged puppy mills raided in the last month with nearly 600 dogs seized and now living at the Everett Animal Shelter or in foster homes. These dogs were rescued from deplorable conditions – sick, matted, covered in feces and urine, crammed into cages – one dog even needing an eye removed. Many have tumors or other physical abnormalities and several dead dogs were found on the properties.

I know this is hard to read, but I am outraged and sickened by this as well as discouraged that people continue to sell and buy dogs in pet stores – just perpetuating this scourge.

With that said, I am also encouraged by the outpouring of support and donations from the community – people reaching out to help these dogs – something I’m sure these poor animals have never experienced in their lives. Many area groomers have donated their time and skills. Dog food collection sites have been set up in various locations. And, legislation has been introduced on the state level to more tightly regulate breeders. In other words, there is hope.

But still, many of the dogs seized are/were pregnant so litters of puppies are being born at the shelter plus many of the animals need serious veterinary care. If you would like to donate dog food or money for medical expenses to the Everett Animal Shelter’s nonprofit agency, ARF (Animal Rescue Foundation), you may do so by calling 425-257-6000 or visiting the shelter in person at 2732 36th St., Everett, Wash. To learn more about ARF, visit

Thank you for letting me vent.

Brandie Ahlgren, founder
CityDog Magazine

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Puppy Bowl Kicks Off February 1 at 3 p.m.

If your favorite team’s season went to the dogs this year (mine did...the Seattle Seahawks), Animal Planet has some new recruits that are ready for their chance to conquer the pigskin—or a chew toy—in PUPPY BOWL V.

The yearly canine competition is back as a new cast of pups takes the field for another year of dogged defense, puppy penalties and fido first downs. The action takes place on the grand gridiron of Animal Planet Stadium, where an all-star, all- “adoptable” lineup of rambunctious pups is ready to compete in the ultimate puppy showdown.

To kick start this year’s sports extravaganza is “Pepper the Parrot,” singing a unique rendition of the National Anthem. This year, every puppy featured in PUPPY BOWL V is recruited from a local shelter, so these pooches are free agents looking for a good home.

Plus, while the big guys are listening to “The Boss” at halftime, PUPPY BOWL has once again enlisted the help of some frisky kittens for an all-new edition of the KITTY HALF-TIME SHOW. Make your fantasy picks now and come online during the big game to vote for MVP (Most Valuable Puppy).

PUPPY BOWL V premieres on Animal Planet, Sunday, February 1, from 3-5 PM (ET/PT).

Friday, January 23, 2009

Website Update

Hi again - The CityDog website is working like a charm - however, we have a temporary subscription page to get us through the weekend. Don't worry, it's a secure page, however we can only process one year subscriptions. By Tuesday of next week, you will have the choice of subscribing for one or two years.

Again, thank you for your patience!

Brandie Ahlgren, founder
CityDog Magazine

Website Currently Under Construction

Hi all - Just a quick note to say CityDog is switching website servers today and the site was down for a bit this morning. Currently the subscription page is down, but all other pages are loaded and seem to be working fine. As for the subscription page, we are working to fix the problem.

We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

Brandie Ahlgren, founder
CityDog Magazine

ASPCA News Alert: Peanut Butter Recall

January 23, 2009 -- In light of last week’s FDA recall, which traced sources of Salmonella contamination to a plant owned by Peanut Corporation of America, the ASPCA is advising pet parents to temporarily discontinue the use of peanut butter products.

A popular treat for dogs, peanut butter is commonly stuffed into chewable activity toys. While healthy adult companion dogs are relatively resistant to Salmonella bacteria, pets with health issues, young puppies and older pooches with compromised immune systems may be at greater risk. “Pet parents should wash their hands after handling any potentially contaminated food and immediately consult with a veterinarian if any symptoms are noticed in their pets,” says the ASPCA’s Dr. Steven Hansen, Senior Vice President, Animal Health Services. Signs to watch out for in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, fever, lethargy and drooling or panting. Cats may develop a high fever with vague, non-specific clinical signs.

In addition, pet parents handling a contaminated peanut butter product may also develop food poisoning. “Salmonella can be passed between humans and pets,” says Dr. Louise Murray, ASPCA Director of Medicine. “Adult cats are highly resistant, and most dogs infected with the bacterium appear normal, but may pass Salmonella in their feces, which can infect people or other pets. Therefore it’s essential that pet parents take steps to protect both themselves and their animal companions from infection."

For a complete list of recalled products, please visit the FDA online. Do check often, as the list is regularly udpated. If you suspect that your pet may have ingested or has become sick after ingesting a recalled product, please contact your local veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Why you should never, ever buy a puppy from a pet store

By KOMO 4 News Staff

GOLD BAR, Wash. - Officers rescued 155 dogs and several other animals found living under ghastly conditions in a puppy mill operation so horrific that it shocked even veteran animal control officers, officials said. A citizen's tip led officials to the residence, in the 43000 block of May Creek Rd in Gold Bar.

After obtaining a search warrant, deputies and officers raided the property, where they found many of the dogs stuffed inside small crates and pens overflowing with urine and feces, investigators said. Several dead puppies also were found in a freezer, and two dead dogs were found elsewhere on the premises. Eighty-seven of the dogs were living in a converted attic.

Adult dogs and puppies were found living in crates and small pens filled with large accumulations of feces and heavily soiled shavings, said Vicki Lubrin of Snohomish County Animal Control Services.

Officers said the odor from the feces and urine was so overpowering it could be detected well outside the residence. A large commercial dumpster stood in the yard overflowing with dog waste.

Medications and used syringes, used to treat sick animals, were found scattered in front of pens and in a refrigerator.

Most of the dogs were heavily matted, covered with their own feces and saturated with urine. Investigators said many dogs had open sores on various parts of their bodies and all were covered with fleas. Several dogs had tumors and other abnormal body conditions.

Officers found a variety of small breed dogs: Yorkshire terriers, rat terriers, West Highland terriers, Chinese crested, pugs, dachshunds, Pekingese and mixed breeds sold as "designer dogs."

Also found were six large dogs - a Labrador and Doberman tightly squeezed together in one crate, a Rottweiler, a mastiff and two boxers.

Altogether, officials found 155 dogs, four cats and three parrots - all living in inhumane conditions.

"Even the most experienced officers on site were astounded by the size of this puppy mill operation and the filthy conditions in which the dogs were kept," Lubrin said in a statement.

She said a detailed breeding plan was found posted on a wall inside the residence.

Lubrin said puppy mill puppies are often sold to unsuspecting buyers with hereditary defects, chronic illnesses and disease. The females are bred over and over again, producing litter after litter of puppies until they either die or can no longer breed and are disposed of.

The facility was operating in violation of Snohomish County commercial kennel regulations, Lubrin said.

All of the animals were removed for care and feeding and a veterinary medical assessment. The dogs, cats and birds are being cared for at the Everett Animal Shelter.

The final disposition of the animals is not known at this time, Lubrin said. The investigation continues and will be referred to the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office for review. No arrests have been made at this time.

The rescue operation was a joint effort by Snohomish County Animal Control Services and Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies on Friday night.

Lubrin said the cost of seizing and treating the animals rescued from these conditions severely impacts the budgets of all responding agencies.

She said anyone wishing to donate dog food or money for medical expenses to the Everett Animal Shelter’s nonprofit agency, ARF (Animal Rescue Foundation), may do so by calling 425-257-6000 or coming to the shelter in person at 2732 36th St., Everett.
If you are able to assist in any way, please visit

Photo courtesty of KOMO 4 News.

Owner of dog shot in Seattle needs your help

By Ray Lane & KOMO Staff
Watch the story

SEATTLE -- Bondo has enjoyed better days.His owner, Paul Rosa, said the 8-year old Shepherd mix was nearly killed in the backyard of his Rainier Valley home around 12:30 a.m. Monday when someone pointed a gun through the fence and fired a single shot into the dog's chest.

"To hurt an innocent animal like that -- it's ridiculous," said Rosa. "It's stupid."

Rosa wondered how such a thing could happen. Bondo's bark could have startled the person, who then may have reached for a weapon instead of just walking along. Police have been called, but investigators said there isn't much they can do.

Whatever the case, an expensive surgery is needed to get the dog back on his feet.

X-rays show the bullet shattered into five pieces, splitting the bone in the dog's right front leg. On Tuesday a metal rod will be put into one of Bongo's legs to help repair the damage.

"It's a life. What am I supposed to do?" Rosa said. "I wish it wouldn't have happened. I wish that person had better judgment. He obviously didn't, and I'm stuck where I'm at."

Rosa said the prognosis is good for Bondo's recovery, but the procedure could cost more than $4,000 -- a hefty amount for a painter who has little work these days.

"I haven't worked in a month and a half. I paid my child support last month and I'm owing two months' rent right here," he said.

Family and friends are willing to help with donations, but Rosa doesn't know if it'll be enough.

"More than anything, I just want my dog healthy. I just want him back the way he was. Karma will get those people," Rosa said.

Rosa said he'll need to make $1,800 payment at the time of Bongo's surgery. Anyone who'd like to help pay for Bongo's medical costs can e-mail Rosa.

Photo courtesy of KOMO 4 News.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sneak Peek: CityDog Winter Issue

Here is a sneak peek at the winter issue of CityDog Magazine, arriving hot-off-the-press next week! The cover features Cohen, our cover dog model search winner! All 450+ cover dog contestants are also featured in this issue! Thanks to Cohen and the other contestants for helping us raise nearly $5,000 for animals!

To subscribe to CityDog Magazine, click here.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Seattle Humane Society Prepared to Help Flood Victims

The Seattle Humane Society has temporary shelter ready to provide safety and care for companion animals for families evacuating due to rising waters from flooding.

Seattle Humane Society (for Seattle / King County)

Phone: (425) 641-0080

Located near the intersection of I90 and I405 at 13212 Eastgate Way, Bellevue, WA 98005.
For Seattle frequenters of the Westcrest dog park, you probably know park steward Steve and his bassets Buddy and Barkley. I met Steve years ago (pre-CityDog) and ever since he's been a faithful dog park advocate and volunteer for the Coalition for Off Leash Areas (COLA) -- an organization that CityDog strongly supports.

Well, it seems Steve, Buddy and Barkley have become quite the celebs with their Bassets for Obama video -- even across the pond! A group of basset owners in England thought Steve looked a little like Marlon Brando in his video and whipped this up for him.

"Dogs is a dirty business."

(Okay, so the Marlon Brando line in the Godfather is "Drugs is a dirty business," but, I couldn't resist!)

150 Marleys

Hollywood filmmakers used 22 yellow Labradors to portray the star of “Marley & Me” in the current blockbuster movie. But that number pales in comparison to the more than 150 Marleys available this weekend at the Oregon Humane Society.

OHS is changing the name of every dog, cat, rabbit and hamster at the Portland shelter to “Marley” this weekend in honor of the record-setting movie. And to help as many people as possible experience the joy of pet ownership, OHS is reducing all adoption fees by 20% this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

OHS expects to have about two-dozen Labrador mixed-breed dogs at the shelter, along with dozens of other dogs, cats, rabbits and rodents, each one named Marley.

Visitors to the shelter, which features special “get acquainted” rooms for meeting a pet, may want to spend time with the following Marleys:
  • Marley Chico is a handsome five-year-old who, unlike his namesake, does not require high maintenance. This Siberian husky mix is loving and polite, crate-trained and housebroken, and loves to snuggle. He does need medication as he occasionally suffers from seizures. But don't let that stop you from feeling the love for this sweet dog.

  • Marley Princess Buttercup is a three-year-old tabby who enjoys the finer things in life such as being waited on and adored. Princess Buttercup is an outgoing, adventurous lady who will gladly show off her fearlessness and make you fall in lover with her.

  • Marley Mia is a four-year-old American rabbit who has lived previously with other bunnies, dogs and children. She especially enjoys sharing fresh veggies wither her sister Marley Marci. Marley Mia and Marley Marci need to go home with the same owner--a double dose of rabbit love.

Every OHS adoption comes with a great list of "extras" at no charge. Each pet is spayed or neutered; comes with an identification microchip, collar and tag; has received a medical examination and an initial round of vaccinations; and comes with a free month of health insurance and a free first visit to a veterinarian. OHS is always available to answer pet-related questions and help families find the perfect match.

What: 20 percent discount on every pet named Marley (which is every pet at OHS!)

Where: OHS Shelter, 1067 NE Columbia Blvd., Portland, OR 97211

When: Friday, Jan. 9 through Sunday, Jan. 11. Doors open at 10 am every day; adoption office closes at 8:30 pm on Friday and Saturday, 6:30 pm on Sunday.

Contact: OHS, (503) 285-7722;