Saturday, March 24, 2012

WASHINGTONMarch 23, 2012 / At the recent 2012 Annual Conference of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC), veterinary medical colleges teamed up with the Partnership for Preventive Pet Healthcare (PPPH) — including the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and pet product companies — to develop plans to address the economic issues facing companion animal practices.

At the conference, experts conveyed that visits to veterinarians are in decline, despite higher pet ownership, with implications for veterinary businesses, veterinary medical education, and pet health.

Consequently, they are promoting more of an emphasis on preventive medicine as an important part of curricular changes for veterinary medical students who are interested in companion animal practice. The conference workshop involved discussion of the concept, suggested models for this type of program, and the economic importance of this approach for career-ready graduates from veterinary colleges. 

The proposed curricular changes included many recommendations from the North American Veterinary Medical Educational Consortium (NAVMEC), which released a report in 2011 calling for the inclusion of broader competencies in veterinary medical education that encompass economic and business management practices, and "One Health" — the collaborative effort of multiple disciplines working together to attain optimal health for people, animals and the environment. "The incorporation of these principles, along with the experience gained from clinical experience, is an important part of the curricular and clinical offerings for integrating preventive practices into general practice," said veterinarian Bennie Osburn, the AAVMC's interim executive director. "The profession is calling for these practices as a way of preventing costly, catastrophic diseases by increasing preventive pet visits."

Veterinary medical colleges are interested in coordinating efforts with PPPH in order to assist the profession by having new graduates ready and prepared for this new approach to companion animal practice.  The AAVMC plans to assist veterinary colleges in developing these programs for their respective colleges.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Foundation to provide for those in critical need

USANA True Health Foundation to Fund Health Causes and Disaster Relief

SALT LAKE CITYMarch 8, 2012 -- USANA Health Sciences, Inc. (NYSE: USNA), a global nutritional supplements company, today announced the opening of its new charitable foundation, the USANA True Health Foundation. The organization will offer basic necessitates, such as nutrition, clothing, shelter, medical assistance and health education to those who are suffering or in need.

"The primary motivation for the creation of this foundation is the never-ending quest for more efficient, economic, effective ways to improve the health and living conditions of people around the world," said Elaine Pace, president of USANA True Health Foundation. "Our goal is to meet the urgent needs of deserving populations and assist them with active compassion whenever the situation demands, to provide whatever is needed."

Donations made to the foundation can be assigned to one of two funds: the General Fund and the Children's Hunger Fund. Charitable gifts made to the General Fund will be used to support areas of great need around the world, aid in rapid disaster relief, and assist wellness organizations such as HealthCorps, founded by Dr. Mehmet Oz and Lisa Oz, to combat childhood obesity and educate children about nutrition and fitness. HealthCorps is the first among many organizations that USANA True Health Foundation intends to support through its General Fund.

Contributions to Children's Hunger Fund will aid the non-profit organization, which has a long-standing partnership with USANA.  For more than a decade, USANA and CHF have helped alleviate the suffering of children in impoverished regions across America and around the world. To date, the organization has received over $11 million in resources through USANA.

"USANA Health Sciences will be paying all administrative costs related to operating the foundation," said Dave Wentz, USANA's chief executive officer. "One hundred percent of every dollar donated to the organization will directly benefit those in need. Our goal is to maximize all donations to help as many people as we can."

Donations can be made through in the form of a one-time pledge, continuous, automatic contributions, or a variety of monetary programs, to the fund of the donor's choice. All donations made by taxpayers inthe United States and Hong Kong are tax-deductible. Residents of other countries should check with their local tax professional to determine whether their donation is deductible.

Based on pledges and donations to date, the foundation expects to raise more than $3 million within the first year of operations.

For more information about the USANA True Health Foundation, please visit

About USANA True Health Foundation: The USANA True Health Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created by Dr. Myron Wentz, USANA's founder, and USANA CEO Dave Wentz, to help expand and enhance USANA's on-going charitable efforts. Their mission is to provide the most critical human necessities to those suffering or in need. USANA True Health Foundation has an active partnership with organizations like HealthCorps and theChildren's Hunger Fund, who share the same vision of making the world a happier and healthier place. Learn more at our website (, follow us on Twitter (@UsanaFoundation), or like us on Facebook(

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Children, pet charity; message of hope for victims of 2011 Japanese earthquake

American Humane Association Acting as Ambassador for Thousands of Americans Who Opened Their Hearts to Help Animals after Disaster

WASHINGTONFeb. 14, 2012 -- American Humane Association, a major 135-year-old United States-based charity dedicated to protecting children and animals, has arrived in Tokyo on Valentine's Day to bring a message of hope and help to the remaining animal victims of the 2011 earthquake.

American Humane Association President and CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert, whose organization has already sent a shipment of supplies and financial donations immediately following the earthquake on March 11, 2011, is conducting site visits and meeting privately with leaders from Japanese relief agencies that have been helping animals left homeless by the disaster nearly one year ago in order to determine the continuing need to shelter and save the lives of thousands of animals still in jeopardy.

American Humane Association has two major goals in coming to Japan: First, to arrange a schedule of financial support to those groups that are caring for and trying to help animals left homeless by the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster.  And second, to extend an
offer to share the organization's more than 100 years of experience in disaster relief to help Japan's communities prepare for and protect children and animals against future disasters. Since 1916, American Humane Association has operated the internationally renowned Red Star™ Animal Emergency Services program. Red Star rescue services have been involved not only in nearly every major relief in the United States over the past century, but major international relief efforts, including rescuing horses on the battlefields of Europe during World War I and the efforts to save and shelter animals following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. American Humane Association's Red Star program is an acknowledged leader in disaster preparedness and has also compiled and is offering to translate into Japanese a series of prevention tips to protect children, animals, families and communities from hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and other disasters.

"When the disasters occurred in Japan, our hearts went out to all the communities affected by those devastating events, and we immediately initiated contact with our international partners to discuss how we could help," said American Humane Association President and Chief Executive Officer Robin R. Ganzert, Ph.D. "To help with the immediate need, we sent a shipment of shelter supplies and a one-million yen financial grant to local relief agencies in Japan.  Much good has been accomplished by the noble work of the local Japanese relief groups, but nearly a year later there is still much to do and thousands of animals who still need our help.  We are here now on Valentine's Day to bring a message of love, hope, and help to Japan and its most precious treasures. In this way, we hope to help improve current conditions for those still in need, and better protect entire communities in the future."

About American Humane Association

Since 1877 American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting children, pets and farm animals from cruelty, abuse and neglect. Today they are also leading the way in understanding the human-animal bond and its role in therapy, medicine and society. American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too, for millions of children and animals in need. Please visit American Humane Association at today.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday on wheels

Just in time for the holidays Callie got her wheels. This 18 YO has been unable to walk with her mom Tamara; that changed today when For Paws brought this loaner cart just in time for the holidays. For Paws friends donated almost the entire cost and Dr. Parkes and the lovely folks at K-9 Carts East
in MD. made a generous discount and worked all weekend to build and ship Callie's Cart to FL. Now Callie can walk with her mom again. K-9 Carts also donated a second refurbished cart at no charge so that another pet might have a chance to walk and run again. Dr. Kimberly Cox at Tampa Bay Veterinary Specialists who has been caring for Callie fitted the cart. For Paws makes carts available at no charge to pet families under a loaner program called "Bosco"s List" making the gift of mobility to disabled pets. We wish you and your family all the best of the season and thank you for the gift you give your pet all year long, a home.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Girls get caught for late-night goat walk

MANKATO MN— A couple of young rustlers attempted to use their imagination to escape the long arm of the law Saturday, but after about an hour of story telling they eventually learned they’d made a baaaaad decision. A Mankato resident called 911 at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday to report two very young ...

Girls get caught for late-night goat walk

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Petties Awards announces the Best Pet Bloggers 2011

DogTime Media's Petties Awards Recognizes Eight of the Best Pet Bloggers and Donates $20,000 to Animal Shelters and Rescues Nationwide

SAN FRANCISCOAug. 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- DogTime Media, the largest vertical media community focused exclusively on pet owners, announced the winners of the 2011 DogTime Pet Blog Awards, also known as "the Petties."
The DogTime Pet Blog Awards are considered by many to be "the Oscars of the pet blogging world." This year the 2011 Petties recognized 32 nominees chosen by their fellow bloggers and pet lovers from across the DogTime Media community.
On Friday, August 26th, DogTime Media announced the eight Petties winners via a gala awards ceremony broadcast on YouTube®, and hosted by DogTime's editor-in-chief Leslie Smith.
"Congratulations to all the nominees and winners of this year's Petties," said DogTime Media CEO, Trevor Wright. "We are very proud to have had the opportunity to share these great blogs with a larger audience than ever this year."
2011 DogTime Pet Blog Award Winners:
Each of the winners will receive a Petties award trophy and a $1,000 donation to the non-profit animal shelter or rescue of their choice.

Best Designed Blog
Kate Benjamin for Moderncat
Chosen rescue organization: All About Animals and Arizona Safe Haven for Animals

Best Social Media Integration Blog
Stephanie Harwin for Catsparella
Chosen rescue organization: Tabby's Place

Funniest Pet Blog
Angie Bailey for Catladyland
Chosen rescue organization: Feline Rescue Inc.

Best Cause Related Blog
Kim Clune and Amy Burkert for Be the Change 4 Animals
Chosen rescue organization: Best Friends Animal Society

Best Blog Post
Chosen rescue organizations: Animal Advocates and Feline Ranch

Best Cat Blog
Robin Olson for Covered in Cat Hair
Chosen rescue organization: Kitten Associates

Best Dog Blog
Carol Bryant for Fido Friendly
Chosen rescue organizations: Gulf Coast Cocker Spaniel Rescue and Camp Cocker

Best Overall Pet Blog
Ingrid King for The Conscious Cat
Chosen rescue organizations: Casey's House and Kitten Associates

"The dedication of the Petties winners and nominees is inspiring to their fellow bloggers and the legions of dedicated readers who follow their posts," said Wright.
DogTime Media will also provide two additional $1,000 donations to non-profit animal shelters or rescues chosen by two Twitter followers who tweeted congratulations to the winning bloggers during the awards ceremony.
As part of the 2011 Petties Awards program DogTime will also donate $10,000 to a non-profit shelter or rescue organization chosen by a blogger who hosts the Adoptable Dog or Cat Finder iframe by October 31st. The iframe gives bloggers the opportunity to increase awareness for over 70,000 dogs and cats currently in shelters across the country.
Petties winners will be interviewed by DogTime's editor-in-chief Leslie Smith for an article that will appear on and across the DogTime Media Network.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Pet inheritance: the trouble with Trouble’s money

By Jessica Martin
August 4, 2011
Reprinted with permission 8.11.11

Estate planning with Fido in mind? Better be careful, says a trusts and estates expert at Washington University in St. Louis School of Law.     
The issue has been in the news recently. British fashion designer Alexander McQueen, who died in February 2010, left a sizeable sum of money to his beloved dogs; Trouble, the recently deceased dog of “The Queen of Mean,” Leona Helmsley, famously inherited $12 million.
Beyond celebrities, a powerful pet inheritance constituency thrives. Between 12 percent and 27 percent of owners have provisions for their pets in their wills. But what happens to the inheritance when the pet passes?
“Poor Trouble already had her bequest reduced to $2 million among other problems with the inheritance,” says Adrienne Davis, JD, the William M. Van Cleve Professor of Law at Washington University in St. Louis.
“The remainder of Trouble’s money will go to Helmsley’s charitable trust. And yet, the legal issues do not end there. Typically gifts to charitable trusts, including remainders such as this one, would qualify for a tax deduction. However tax law excludes charitable remainders following pet trusts from qualifying.”
Davis notes that there is one final anti-pet outrage in Trouble’s case. In addition to reducing Helmsley’s gift to Trouble, the probate judge overturned Helmsley’s directive that her charitable trust be used for animal welfare, instead permitting the trustees to distribute Helmsley’s assets to non-animal charities of their own choosing.
“Although pet inheritance in America was recognized in 1923, and despite several recent innovations, the law remains unstable,” Davis say

“One basic problem is that estate planning attorneys and their clients do not take advantage of the substantial legal reforms that have come in the last decade. Trusts must be properly drafted and should name caretakers who are willing to comply with the trust terms. If a final resting place is desired, lawyers should check that it will accept pets.”
Helmsley’s final request for Trouble, that she be buried beside Helmsley in the family mausoleum, cannot be fulfilled as pets cannot be buried in human cemeteries.
Davis says that other reforms are still needed.
“One proposed bill would extend the charitable remainder tax deduction to pet trusts,” she says.
“Other reforms would make it easier to create trusts for future generations, or ‘grand-kid pets.’ That ‘companion’ feeling has spilled over owners’ lifetimes into their estate plans, with no end in sight.”
Frances Foster, JD, trusts and estates scholar and the Edward T. Foote II Professor of Law at WUSTL School of Law, tackles the issue of pet inheritance reform in her recent Florida Law Review article, “Should Pets Inherit.”
“Trouble — and the millions of American pets like her — should inherit,” Foster says.
“American inheritance law is trapped in an outdated family paradigm. That paradigm assumes that the decedent’s closest relatives by blood, adoption or marriage are the most deserving recipients of the decedent’s estate, the so-called ‘natural objects of the decedent’s bounty.’ For many Americans today though, their pets, not their human family members, are their nearest and dearest.”

Foster argues that the idea of “natural” wealth distribution permeates law and decisionmaking and creates significant human costs.
“By ignoring the actual relationships between decedents and survivors, the family paradigm excludes the very people a particular decedent may have valued most — those connected by affection and support rather than by family status,” she says.

Foster notes that recent reforms have focused on enforcing pet care arrangements on an ad hoc basis, improving legal mechanisms to provide for decedents’ pets and redefining the legal status of pets.
“But these strategies offer only partial solutions because they fail to challenge the family paradigm,” she says.
“Reformers must look beyond the family paradigm’s abstractions and develop more individualized approaches that encompass a decedent’s actual natural objects ― be they human or nonhuman.”