<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - ]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcmiami.com/feature/all-about-animals http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.png NBC 6 South Florida http://www.nbcmiami.com en-us Thu, 29 Jan 2015 17:30:44 -0500 Thu, 29 Jan 2015 17:30:44 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Broward Animal Care's Last Chance Dogs]]> Wed, 28 Jan 2015 10:18:45 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/168*120/A1674464+Princess.jpg

Five dogs at Broward County Animal Care are considered "last call" and are in need of urgent adoption or rescue.

Bard is a very happy, active dog, but he calms down after a good romp and walk! Bard was originally found as a stray in Dania Beach and quickly got an adopter, but unfortunately that person changed their mind, so Bard is still waiting for that special someone!  Bard would do best in a home that loves activity as much as he does and is able to give him plenty of exercise! 

Patrick’s Christmas Eve was not so festive this year as his owners went away and left him behind to be fed by a friend.  When Patrick got out of the yard and wound up at Animal Care, he hoped someone would come to claim him, but this poor fellow is still waiting!  Patrick is a high-energy fellow who needs lots of exercise and would do best in a home without small children--he is just so exuberant, he’s liable to knock someone down with all his affection!  Patrick is a really handsome guy, and very eager to please so if he can find the right new family he is sure to make them very happy. 

Zeus and his buddy, Tots, are very obedient, well-behaved dogs.  They don’t really like other animals but love each other.  They came to Animal Care when their owner had to move away and both are housebroken and know basic commands.  Perfect as a pair, they could also be separated if someone fell in love with just one or the other.  They both just really need the perfect adopter to give them another chance at a great life!

Tots and her buddy, Zeus, appear two of a kind.  When their owner moved away, he couldn’t take them with him but really wanted them both to have another chance for a happy life.  A home with room to spare for two needy dogs would be perfect, but both Tots and Zeus would be thrilled just to have a home of their own again at all.  Tots definitely doesn’t care for other dogs (except Zeus) but she is very obedient, house broken and knows basic commands, so she could fit in just perfectly in the right home. 

Daisy is a cute, calm little girl who loves back massages.  She was found hiding in a laundry room, dirty and greasy but has cleaned up to be a real beauty! Daisy could make some canine friends if introduced properly and taught how, but she seems not to have had much dog socialization in her previous life.  Help bring this quiet girl out of her shell so she can experience how fun life can be! 

If you can adopt any of these amazing dogs and give them a second chance, please stop by Broward County Animal Care and Adoption, 1870 SW 39th Street, Fort Lauderdale.  The shelter is open for adoptions Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Also, Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Or you can contact the shelter at (954) 359-1313, or email rescue@broward.org.

The adoption fee for each of them is only $20.15!

<![CDATA[Dog Missing for 5 Months Found, Rescued in Snowstorm]]> Wed, 28 Jan 2015 06:56:31 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/found+whippet.jpg

An FDNY lieutenant found and rescued a puppy that had been missing for five months near the department's training facility on Randall's Island and reunited the pooch with its owner.

The dog, Burt, had been missing from its Manhattan home since Aug. 20. Burt's owner papered hundreds of blocks, including 90 in one night, according to a Facebook page dedicated to finding him, over the months that followed to no avail. Then the owner got a call from Lt. Dave Kelly with the FDNY's training bureau.

"It was so crazy," said owner Lauren Piccolo of Harlem. "I was sitting at home trying to prepare for the storm, and I got a call from someone on Randall's Island, of all places, that he had seen a whippet and he had been seeing this whippet over the period of a couple of weeks."  

According to the department, Kelly noticed the dog rummaging for food at night on the grounds of the training facility. He tried to feed it in hopes he could get near enough to corral the animal, but the whippet -- looks similar to a greyhound -- kept eluding him.

On Monday, as the dangerous snowstorm bore down on the region, Kelly set a trap using food and a dog cage and snagged Burt. He scoured social media for leads and found the Facebook page, then was able to reunite him with his "ecstatic" owner, the FDNY said.

Burt turned 1 in November. Piccolo said the pup has been tired from his long journey, but seems healthy. He was headed to the vet for a checkup Tuesday afternoon. 

<![CDATA[GoDaddy Pulls Controversial Super Bowl Ad ]]> Wed, 28 Jan 2015 10:24:51 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/162767130.jpg

GoDaddy announced Tuesday that it would not air an ad slated to run during the Super Bowl after an early preview on the “Today Show” spawned a wave of criticism on social media.

The Internet domain registrar, known for its zany Super Bowl ads, never fails to deliver water cooler fodder the Monday after the big game. But this time they may have gone too far.

The 30-second spot titled “Journey Home” features a puppy that has been separated from its family after falling off a pickup truck. The adorable dog endures an arduous journey home to reunite with his owners, who are thrilled to see their lost puppy.

"Look! It's Buddy! I'm so glad you made it home," says a woman as he jumps into her arms and licks her face, "because I just sold you on this website I built with GoDaddy."

The backlash was immediate. Animal lovers, activists, and rescue orgnizations like SPCA and The Human Society blasted the ad on Twitter and Facebook, accusing GoDaddy of condoning the online sale of puppies which are often connected to puppy mills.

On Tuesday evening, GoDaddy's CEO Blake Irving released a statement on the company's website announcing the decision to pull the commercial from Sunday's game and YouTube:

"This morning we previewed GoDaddy's Super Bowl spot on a popular talk show, and shortly after a controversy started to swirl about Buddy, our puppy, being sold online. The responses were emotional and direct. Many people urged us not to run the ad…However, we underestimated the emotional response. And we heard that loud and clear. The net result? We are pulling the ad from the Super Bowl. You'll still see us in the Big Game this year, and we hope it makes you laugh."

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Featured Pet: Luna]]> Sun, 25 Jan 2015 14:27:58 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/luna+featured+pet+012515.PNG

Our featured pet is Luna, an 8-month-old short-hair kitten at Broward Animal Care who hopes to find a loving home.

Luna is a beautiful cat who is full of energy. She is friendly, playful, and loves a good ear scratching. Luna would make a great family companion.

Luna's adoption fee includes spaying, vaccinations and microchipping. For more information on how to adopt her or any other animal, call (954) 359-1313 or visit Broward County Animal Care's website here.

For more animal news, visit the NBC6.com All About Animals page.

<![CDATA[Pet of the Week: Snowflake]]> Sat, 24 Jan 2015 16:51:49 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/snowflake+potw+012415.PNG

Our pet of the week is Snowflake, a 2-year-old pit bull mix from Pooches in Pines.

Snowflake is an active, sweet dog. She loves giving kisses and getting belly rubs. Snowflake enjoys playing fetch and tug o'war.

Pooches in Pines is helping Snowflake find her forever home. Her adoption includes vaccinations, spay and microchipping.

For more information on how to adopt Snowflake or any other animal, visit the Pooches in Pines website here or on their Facebook page

For more animal news, visit our new All About Animals page. 

<![CDATA[Hope for the Christmas Puppy]]> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 14:26:48 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/PetParadeF.jpg

Last week, I called out someone in my neighborhood whose Christmas puppy had been banished to the backyard and ignored. Some of my words were harsh, but I promised I would offer some solutions, and that solving this problem would be fun. So let’s start off with something positive.

Your puppy really wants to please you.
She isn’t just crying and whining in the yard because she’s lonely. She’s frustrated because she doesn’t understand how she failed you. I’m guessing you’re pretty frustrated as well. Puppies need to know what’s expected of them, and it is up to us to set that expectation. This requires a bit of forward thinking on the part of humans, and when puppies are purchased impulsively, this vital step is often skipped. 
Your puppy was not born knowing how to sit, stay, and refrain from jumping on the kids. These behaviors must be taught, and it is up to you to teach them. There are countless resources available online and in bookstores to help you get started on the basics. You can also contact my office, or any veterinary office for that matter, for information on local trainers and classes. “Sit” and “stay” are fairly easy commands to teach, and can make your puppy a whole lot easier to live with. I am personally a big fan of the “off” and “wait” commands.
“Off” equals “Wherever your paws are, take them off.” This can apply to furniture, gardens, even people. Not only does it help your puppy learn boundaries, it comes in handy when trying to break the natural, yet unacceptable behavior of jumping on her human family members. The “wait” command is used to teach that while a door may be open, they cannot go through it without permission. Also known as doorway respect, this command can save your dog’s life if a door is accidentally left open.
When training your puppy, use praise often and lavishly. Positive reinforcement will teach your puppy that pleasing you is rewarding and fun, which will motivate her to repeat desired behaviors. And the positive, dynamic nature of these exercises will create a strong bond between the two of you. Never use punishment when she makes a mistake, and never, ever resort to hitting. Even the classic “rolled-up newspaper” can lead to anxiety, and ultimately, aggression.
Socialize your puppy
Between the ages of eight weeks and nine months, puppies develop the social skills they need to safely interact with humans and other dogs. It is vital that puppies of this age be safely exposed to as many different situations as possible. Without this early stimulation, your puppy may not develop the coping skills she needs to handle new situations later in her life. Poorly socialized puppies can mature into dogs that struggle with anxiety and fear aggression. And puppies who grow up isolated and alone do not develop healthy social skills.
Take your puppy for a walk
Walking on a leash is not a natural behavior for a dog. This is a skill we must teach them, and for you, dear neighbor, it will not be easy. You have only yourself to blame for this, as you are getting off to a late start. Don’t be surprised if you need to call in a professional trainer. That being said, you are in good company. Every trainer I have ever worked with has suggested we start the training session with a walk. In addition to exercise, walks provide mental and sensory stimulation for our dogs. 
No matter how big your yard may be, it is the same environment day after day. This is boring for a dog, and even more so for a puppy.   Walking will expose your puppy to cars, bikes, children, joggers, cats, skateboards - not to mention a veritable potpourri of new and interesting smells. Once you get the hang of it, you will find that you have yet another tool for deepening your relationship with your dog that requires little time and effort on your part.
Don’t just teach “NO!”
If you feel like you’re spending a lot of time training and your puppy is still driving you crazy, you may be inadvertently focusing on negative behavior. Sometimes we become so focused on teaching dogs what we don’t want, we forget to teach them what we do want. When correcting an unwanted behavior, try substituting a desired behavior. 
For example, a puppy that destroys shoes may repeat the behavior because she doesn’t know what else to do. She may also use this as an attention-seeking behavior. After all, negative attention is still attention. If the only time we interact with our dogs is when we correct them, they will repeat behaviors that create interaction, even if the experience is negative. In the case of the shoe chewer, try replacing the shoe with a designated doggie chew toy. This not only teaches her what she is not allowed to chew, it teaches her what she is allowed to chew, and empowers her to make good decisions on her own.
Reward good decisions - lavishly!
Eventually, the shoe chewing puppy will sniff at a shoe, think about chewing it, then opt for a chew toy instead. This a very big deal and should be rewarded with lots of praise - which is really all your puppy wants from you. Any time she chooses a desired behavior over an undesired behavior, tell her what a good girl she is, and don’t be shy about it. When your puppy is doing something you like it’s praise time! When she asks to go potty, tell her a she’s a good girl. When she curls up in her bed, tell her she’s a good girl. When she looks up at you during a walk, tell her she’s a good girl. Remember, you’re not just making her feel happy. You’re giving her an incentive to repeat behaviors that you like.
Never underestimate the power of cognitive enrichment
Once you and your puppy master basic obedience, you may want to consider teaching some more advanced behaviors. Why? Because it’s fun! Our older dog, Grendel, loves using her nose to sniff out treats that we hide around the house. Zohan is learning how to beg, roll over, spin, and shake hands. While none of these qualify as important life skills, the training sessions engage their brains and burn off the pent-up energy that often plagues suburban dogs. They are less reactive, more mentally balanced, and more attentive to our commands. And it makes us happy to see how switched on and eager to please our dogs truly are. If it sounds too time consuming, consider this: we spent an hour with a trainer laying the groundwork, and the daily activities take about ten minutes per day.
With just a little bit of time and commitment, that rowdy, barking nuisance in your yard can turn into a loving and loyal family pet.  Since this is certainly what you had in mind when you bought her, take the next step and become the leader she needs you to be. The unconditional love you get in return will be well worth the effort.
Do you have a question for Dr. Kupkee? Click here to send him an email.
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Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Vets Seek to Help Paralyzed Pups Walk Again ]]> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 12:32:35 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/NC_paralyzeddogs0122001_700x394.jpg

A group of veterinarians in North Carolina is experimenting with new drugs that could help paralyzed pups get back on their paws.

The study, lead by North Carolina State University's College of Veterinary Medicine & Veterinary Hospital's Dr. Natasha Olby, included 19 dogs, NBC News reported. Only three of the dogs showed drastic improvement in bladder control and walking. Some made no response to the treatment at all, while others improved slightly.

"It is absolutely a wonderful moment when you see an animal suddenly take some steps," Obly told NBC News. "It wasn't a miraculous cure, but certainly they had quite a dramatic change in their abilities while they were on the drug that would disappear again when we discontinued the drug.”

One of the drugs Obly used is called 4-Aminopyridine or "4-AP." It is normally used to treat people with multiple sclerosis, a disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. However, the drug failed to show major results for people with spinal cord injuries, studies show.

As for dogs, Olby says future research will focus on whether it work better for certain types of injuries.

"That's what we're now focusing on, and maybe we will uncover something that will have relevance to humans," she says.

<![CDATA[Broward Humane Adoptable Pets - Jan. 23, 2015]]> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 11:07:34 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/Rosco+522658.jpg Broward Humane Society Adoptable Pets - Jan. 23, 2015

Photo Credit: Humane Society of Broward County]]>
<![CDATA[Miami-Dade Animal Services Adoptable Pets]]> Thu, 22 Jan 2015 15:23:29 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/161*120/Daisy+A1673859.jpg Adopt a pet today at Miami-Dade Animal Services. Call 305-884-1101 for more information]]> <![CDATA[Sad Monkey at ZWF Miami Gets Comforted by Pal]]> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 10:08:30 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/012215+comforting+monkeys.jpg

Think you had a bad day? Try trading places with this sad little monkey.

In this adorable clip from Miami's Zoological Wildlife Foundation, Angelica, a capuchin monkey, lands herself in timeout. And clearly, she is heartbroken over it.

Jessica Soto, an assistant with ZWF Miami, tells NBC 6 that Angelica is a 2-year-old capuchin monkey, and Toby is almost 4. Together, the pair were both playing with a Yorkie puppy when Toby pulled on the pup's leg. The two were scolded, and Angelica took off running to hide. As a result, Soto says both monkeys were put in timeout.

In the clip, we can see Angelica inconsolably rest her head in her hands, looking truly heartbroken over her predicament.

Thankfully, her good friend Toby was there to make their time in timeout more bearable. 

In the adorable clip, Toby can be seen putting a caring arm around his pal, offering some friendly chatter, and even giving her a few sweet scratches to the head.

The caption on the @zwfmiami Instagram page says,"Toby consoling Angelica, who's on timeout," along with the hashtag "#almosthuman."

Soto says capuchin monkeys are highly intelligent and are often used as service animals, as is the case with Angelica and Toby who are the service animals of a ZWF guest.

Thankfully, Soto says Angelica was not kept in timeout very long, but just long enough to capture the sweet moment between two friends on video.

Photo Credit: ZWF Miami/Instagram
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<![CDATA[Cat Rescued From Drain Pipe Recovering at Animal Clinic]]> Wed, 21 Jan 2015 18:42:05 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/012115+piper+cat+rescued+from+pipe.jpg

A frisky feline that spent a day trapped inside a drain pipe was recovering Wednesday at a Miami animal hospital.

The 6-pound cat, nicknamed Piper after his ordeal, was being treated for dehydration at Knowles Animal Clinic Wednesday, a day after he was pulled from an 8-inch drain pipe outside the Walgreen's at 655 Northwest 57th Avenue.

"He's eating great today, he's feeling good and he's getting a little feisty," Knowles' Lory Nelson said.

Rescue workers spent most of Tuesday trying to free the cat, who was finally pulled out after a leash was dropped around his neck.

The cat was distressed but suffered no major injuries, Nelson said.

Once he's fit to move, Piper will go to a cat rescue group.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Rescuers Free Cat Stuck in Drain Pipe in Miami]]> Tue, 20 Jan 2015 23:28:05 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/012015+cat+stuck+in+pipe+miami.jpg

Rescue workers were able to free a cat that became stuck in a drain pipe outside a Miami Walgreen's Tuesday after several hours trying to get to the feline.

The ordeal began Monday night at the store at 655 Northwest 57th Avenue when someone noticed the cat inside the 8-inch pipe.

Firefighters tried to free the cat Monday night but didn't have any luck. The Miami-Dade Fire Department's Venom Unit responded Tuesday to try to help get the cat out but they were also unsuccessful.

The cat was eventually freed a little before 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Photo Credit: Adam Rice/NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Featured Pet: Parker]]> Sun, 18 Jan 2015 12:31:39 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/parker+potw+011815.PNG

Our featured pet is Parker, a 1-year-old Boxer/American Bulldog mix who is looking for a loving home.

Parker is a playful, energetic dog. He was found tied to a pole in South Miami. Saving Sage Animal Rescue took him in, and is now looking for a new family for Parker.

If you are interested in adopting Parker or any other animal, contact Saving Sage Animal Rescue at (305) 298-8346 or visit their Facebook page or website.

For more animal news, visit our new All About Animals page.

<![CDATA[Pet of the Week: Lena]]> Sat, 17 Jan 2015 13:36:29 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/lina+potw+011715.PNG

Our pet of the week is Lena, an 2-month-old Beagle mix from the Humane Society of Greater Miami.

Lena is a sweet, playful puppy who loves to give kisses. She gets along with other dogs and adores people. Lena will get bigger since she is just a puppy, and should be a medium-sized dog when she's full-grown.

All adoptions include spay or neuter surgery, vaccinations and microchipping. For more information on how to adopt Lena or any other animal, call 305-696-0800 or visit the Humane Society's website here.

For more animal news, visit our new All About Animals page.

<![CDATA[Broward Humane Society Adoptable Pets - January 15, 2015]]> Fri, 16 Jan 2015 10:06:05 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/Blue+502895+copy.jpg Broward Humane Society's Adoptable Pets for January 15, 2015]]> <![CDATA[Teen "Scared to Sleep" Without Her Stolen Therapy Dog]]> Fri, 16 Jan 2015 10:12:29 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/176*120/1-16-2015-StolenDog.JPG

A heartbroken teenager has said she cannot bear to go to sleep since her therapy dog was stolen along with the family car.

Emily Thompson and her mother Jody were picking up medicine in Long Beach Tuesday when a thief made off with the family Nissan Maxima, where her dog Sandy had been sitting in the back seat.

Compton resident Emily, who has a medical condition that makes it tough for her to breath when she is stressed, said she cannot bear to be apart from her best friend.

"I’m scared to go to sleep. I don't even want to try," the 19-year-old said, "He makes me feel like I'm not sick, though I am sick."

The bronze 1985 Nissan Maxima was taken from a shopping center parking lot on the southeast corner of Cherry Avenue and 68th Street at around 6:30 p.m Tuesday. The thief jumped out of a white pickup truck and into the vehicle, and the two drove off together moments later.

The family’s almost 30-year-old car was found in a Long Beach parking lot Wednesday, however the whereabouts of the animal remains a mystery.

Emily said the tiny pooch is the light of her life, and is begging for Sandy's return, no-questions-asked.

"He used to run in between my legs, ask me for food, he stands up and greets you," Emily said, "Please, please, please, give me my dog."

Her mother Jody is also hoping Sandy will turn up for the sake of her daughter.

"It’s like a bad dream and we want it to turn out with a happy ending," Jody said.

Sandy was wearing a metal chain type collar, but did not have an identification tag or identification chip.  Animal Care Services has been informed to be on the lookout for the dog.

<![CDATA[Don't Dump a Christmas Puppy at the Shelter]]> Thu, 15 Jan 2015 12:47:29 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*120/674e0b1a3bf343419bbbd4f1bcb28968.JPG.jpg

My wife and I live in a densely populated community that sits on a small, man-made lake. While I do not flatter myself that everyone in Miami reads this column or takes my advice, someone in my neighborhood obviously missed the last memo. It is to you, dear neighbor, that I direct this latest missive. I don’t know who you are, or exactly where you live, but I know what you did last Christmas.

You bought a Christmas puppy for your children.
How do I know this? Because I started hearing your new puppy crying in your yard on the night of December 26th. It rained that night. The night after that, it was chilly. Through both of those nights, your puppy cried for you. She cried on New Year’s Eve when fireworks exploded over the lake and scared her half to death. She cried because she is a social animal, and she is not yet mature enough to cope with being alone, especially when she is cold and frightened.
I’m guessing by now you are probably thinking what so many other holiday pet buyers are thinking. You’re thinking this puppy is way too time-consuming, no fun for the kids, and would be happier in a new home. Let’s explore some of the most common perceptions of “re-homing”, and the realities your Christmas puppy may face.
Animal Shelters
If you’re thinking of dropping off your puppy at a shelter, then you have probably never been to a shelter. These institutions are an invaluable part of our community, and are staffed with some of the kindest, hardest working, most dedicated professionals I know. But these folks are not fairy godmothers. They do not wave magic wands and find perfect, loving homes for all of the pets who need them. The sad truth is that many, perhaps most, of the animals in our shelters are put to sleep because nobody comes to adopt them.
I know what you’re thinking - not THIS dog. She’s a good girl. She’s just too much work for us. She’s so cute and friendly, she’ll get adopted in a heartbeat.
Your puppy sounds like she is a large breed dog. Statistically, this means she is not likely to get adopted. If she is dark colored or black, she will probably be overlooked by potential adopters. No one knows why this happens, but the statistics speak for themselves. If she resembles a breed that is perceived as “dangerous”, she will be doomed from the moment she walks through the shelter door. And even if she is a “good girl”, shelters are scary places for dogs. After a week or so of constant noise, little human contact, no fresh air of exercise, and no mental stimulation, your good girl is bound to feel frustrated. The first time she shows her hackles or teeth to a shelter worker, she will be killed. Period.
If you think I’m exaggerating for the sake of the press, think again. Or better yet, go visit our shelter. There is a reason I chose not to work in shelter medicine. I simply could not handle it.
A Home In The Country
Perhaps you’re thinking it would more humane to take your puppy for a drive in the Redlands and leave her there. After all, those people have big houses and lots of land - surely they have big hearts too. How much trouble would it really be to take in one more dog?
I practiced in the Redlands for many years, so I can assure you that this is NOT a novel idea. The good people of the Redlands can only take in so many discarded suburban pets. Most of my clients were maxed out, and faced with tough decisions regarding how much they could do for their ever-growing menageries. It is not unusual to see stray, injured, malnourished animals wandering through fields and communities, or killed at the edge of the road. Do not solve your problem by creating a burden for your neighbors, and do not assume that “someone will take her in”. There are already thousands of homeless pets in these areas. This is not an option for your puppy.
Free To A Good Home
Two years ago, the gruesome story of “Puppy Doe” made local and national headlines. The young dog was dumped in a Boston suburb after being brutally beaten, burned, stabbed, and starved. Her injuries were not survivable, and she was humanely euthanized. Her story went viral as the public demanded justice. Her original owner recognized her picture and stepped forward. She was utterly devastated that the dog she had posted for adoption on Craigslist had fallen into the hands of an animal abuser.
Dog fighters, testing labs, puppy mills and garden variety sickos are forever trolling classified ads and online bulletin boards in search of future victims. And phrases such as “free to good home” are sure to get their attention. These individuals will often go so far as to pay women with children to pose as an adoptive family! So if you think you are smart enough to spot an abuser, once again, you are wrong.
And so, dear neighbor, I respectfully suggest that you reflect long and hard on the moral obligation you have to the living being you stuck into a Christmas stocking. You owe her more than what you have given her so far, and I am calling you out. The good news is that I’m not asking you to build a rocket or cure cancer. I’m asking you to train - and love - your puppy. And yes, there is a connection. It is so easy to love a dog, but as a trainer I know so eloquently put it, it’s easier to love a well-trained dog. My wife and I are the busiest people I know.   We did it twice, and we’re still working on it. If we can do it, so can you.
But be warned - I’m not done with you yet. Next time, we’ll talk about how to help your family and your puppy adjust to these new expectations. Spoiler alert: it’s going to fun! I promise.
If you’d like to get started ahead of time, please call my office - or ANY veterinary office for that matter! We vets are easy to find, and we all have behaviorists that we recommend without hesitation or agenda. In the meantime, for the love of God, it’s going to be a rainy week . If nothing else, please bring your puppy inside.
Do you have a question for Dr. Kupkee? Click here to send him an emai.
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Photo Credit: Hillary Ann Davis]]>
<![CDATA[Rehabbed Turtle Released at Key Biscayne]]> Wed, 14 Jan 2015 19:33:01 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/011415+trigger+loggerhead+sea+turtle.jpg

A loggerhead sea turtle that spent 11 months recuperating at the Miami Seaquarium was released back into the wild Wednesday.

Trigger was released on the beach at Key Biscayne by Seaquarium workers. When she saw that water, Trigger knew what to do and vanished into the waters of Key Biscayne in seconds.

It was an all-around awesome moment for everyone watching.

"It was truly touching," one onlooker said.

But the scars of the past were still obvious on Trigger. There was a chunk taken out of her shell, done so by a boat, and one of her flippers was cut off almost down to a nub.

When she was found in a canal in Fort Lauderdale parasites had infected her whole body and her shell was covered in leeches. At that time she didn’t have long to live.

"She was thin and emaciated as it was and with the parasites in her system she wouldn’t live more than a couple weeks," one Seaquarium official said.

After the tender love and care from the Seaquarium Trigger is now twice the size she was when she first showed up.

"When she came into us she was about 77 pounds. Well, now she’s about 157 pounds," the official said.

It was so important to get Trigger back in the sea on Wednesday so she could start making little loggerhead sea turtle babies.

"This is a threatened species we need to do what we can to get the number back up," the official said.

<![CDATA[Trooper Available for Adoption]]> Thu, 15 Jan 2015 07:25:07 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*130/trooper+A1672467.jpg

Trooper is a 3-month-old kitten that was rescued from the Palmetto Expressway Monday morning and is now available for adoption at Miami-Dade Animal Services.

<![CDATA[Walk to Benefit Canine Cancer Research]]> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 08:04:50 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/Dog+cancer+walk.jpg

Cancer ends the lives of more dogs than any other disease.

Over 6 million new dog cancer diagnoses are made each year.

By participating in and fundraising for the Morris Animal Foundations' South Florida K9 Cancer Walk, you can help increase the foundation's capacity to invest in science that will help prevent and treat cancer and other diseases in dogs.

The walk will take place on Jan. 25th at Tradewinds Park, 3600 W. Sample Road, Coconut Creek, FL 33073.

Registration opens at 9 a.m. and the walk and opening ceremony begin at 10 a.m. 

For complete details and to participate or join an existing team, click here.

<![CDATA[Miami-Dade Animal Services Adoptable Pets]]> Thu, 15 Jan 2015 05:45:31 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*120/Ben+A1664642.jpg Adopt a pet today at Miami-Dade Animal Services. Call 305-884-1101 for more information]]> <![CDATA[Dog Who Interrupted NBC 6 Weather Report Adopted]]> Mon, 12 Jan 2015 17:37:01 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/tlmd_ryanphillips.jpg

King, the American Bulldog who made national news when he crashed an NBC 6 weather forecast, has been adopted by a South Florida family.

David Erickson and Pamela McGrath had taken King in as a foster dog but he was officially adopted.

King was being featured as the "Pet of the Week" by Pooches in Pines when he decided to make his on-screen debut early, jumping on the desk as NBC 6 meteorologist Ryan Phillips was delivering his weather report.

King now has two doggie siblings.

Photo Credit: NBC6]]>
<![CDATA[Featured Pet: Noelle]]> Sun, 11 Jan 2015 14:19:22 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/noelle+potw+011115.PNG

Our featured pet is Noelle, a 5-year-old Boxer at Broward Animal Care who hopes to find a loving home.

Noelle is a friendly dog with a sweet personality. She is gentle and walks well on a leash. Noelle would make a great family dog.

Noelle's adoption fee is only $50 and includes neutering, vaccinations and microchip. For more information on how to adopt her or any other animal, call (954) 359-1313 or visit Broward County Animal Care's website here.

For more animal news, visit our new All About Animals page.

<![CDATA[Pet of the Week: Joey]]> Sat, 10 Jan 2015 16:31:52 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/joey+potw+011015.PNG

Our pet of the week is Joey, an 4-month-old Labrador mix.

Joey is an affectionate, quiet dog. He can be a little shy at first, but gets along with other dogs, cats and children.

Pooches in Pines is helping Joey find his forever home. His adoption includes vaccinations, spay and microchipping.

For more information on how to adopt Joey or any other animal, visit the Pooches in Pines website here or on their Facebook page.

For more animal news, visit our new All About Animals page.

<![CDATA[Dog Gets New Home After Being Saved from Hot Car]]> Fri, 09 Jan 2015 18:45:24 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/fijithedog010915.jpg

She doesn’t have nine lives, but a Chihuahua named Fiji got a second chance at life after a Miami Gardens officer smashed a car window to get the dog safely out of the hot vehicle.

After a 911 call, police said the dog fell onto the car floor after going unconscious before the officer broke out the window of the car. The dog ended up at Sky Lake Animal Hospital under the care of Dr. Zachary Gouzopoulos. Fiji had to be treated for heat stroke after being left in the hot car.

“Fiji is doing much better today,” Dr. Gouzopoulos said. “Actually, I’m very confident that she could go home with her new foster parents and do fine.”

Fiji’s original owner, Natalia Nieto, was arrested for animal cruelty after the dog was discovered. She told detectives that she was at a buffet dining with her family near the mall and that she was sorry she left the pooch in the car.

But the dog won’t have to wait long to find a new home. Andria, of “A Better Life Rescue,” is going to adopt Fiji as soon as she’s released from the hospital and give the pup a whole new experience.

“Probably very different than what she is used to,” said Andria. “She’s going to be very spoiled and she’ll have a lot of playmates.”

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[All About Pets]]> Fri, 09 Jan 2015 15:05:02 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/WTVJ_000000016354992_1200x675_382422083686.jpg Miami-Dade County Animals Services is encouraging everyone to start the new year with a furry friend.]]> <![CDATA[Broward Humane Society Adoptable Pets - Jan. 9, 2015]]> Fri, 09 Jan 2015 10:40:49 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/Molly+519047.jpg Broward Humane Society Adoptable Pets - Jan. 9, 2015

Photo Credit: Humane Society of Broward County]]>
<![CDATA[Miami-Dade Animal Services Adoptable Pets ]]> Wed, 07 Jan 2015 16:28:16 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*122/Cherry+A1671241.jpg Adopt a pet today at Miami-Dade Animal Services. Call 305-884-1101 for more information.]]> <![CDATA[Pet of the Week: Winter]]> Sun, 04 Jan 2015 14:50:05 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/winter+potw.PNG

Our pet of the week is Winter, an 5-month-old Angora mix kitten from the Humane Society of Broward County.

Winter is an sweet kitten. She is pure white and very soft, with fine, wispy hair. Winter can be shy at first but loves to snuggle.

All adoptions include spay or neuter surgery, vaccinations and microchipping. For more information on how to adopt Winter or any other animal, call (954) 989-3977 or visit the Humane Society of Broward County's website here

For more animal news, visit our new All About Animals page.

<![CDATA[Miami-Dade Animal Services Adoptable Pets]]> Mon, 29 Dec 2014 15:19:31 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/162*120/Mia+A0893287.jpg Miami-Dade Animal Services Adoptable Pets - Dec. 29, 2014

Photo Credit: Miami-Dade Animal Services]]>
<![CDATA[Caught on Cam: Couple With Children Steals Puppy]]> Mon, 29 Dec 2014 10:18:38 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/man+steals+puppy.png

A couple was caught on camera last week stealing a puppy worth $1,500 in front of two children at a South Florida pet store, the shop's manager said.

Surveillance video shows an apparent family of four walk into Nessie's Puppies of Kendall, located at 8690 Southwest 137 Avenue, and look at the dogs on display. Moments later, the video shows a man jumping a small fence and grabbing a teacup Yorkie from the cage.

The unidentified man then handed the puppy to a woman who placed the Yorkie under her skirt.

The couple immediately walked out of the store with the children.

"They didn't even look at me, just straight walked out. So I immediately I was like something's wrong. This is not normal," Gaby Ortega, the store worker said.

Police are reviewing surveillance video to find those responsible. Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crimestoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.

<![CDATA[Pet of the Week: Isabella]]> Sun, 28 Dec 2014 14:07:29 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/potw+isabella.PNG

Our featured pet is Isabella, a 2-year-old hound mix at Broward Animal Care who hopes to find a forever home.

Isabella is a friendly dog with a sweet personality. She is gentle, completely housebroken, and walks well on a leash. Isabella would make a great, active family dog.

Isabella's adoption fee is waived for the month of December, along with all other large breed dogs at the shelter. Her adoption includes spaying, vaccinations and microchip. For more information on how to adopt her or any other animal, call (954) 359-1313 or visit Broward County Animal Care's website here.

For more animal news, visit our new All About Animals page.

<![CDATA[Broward Humane Society Adoptable Pets - Dec. 23, 2014]]> Tue, 23 Dec 2014 16:51:33 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/Chance+521151.jpg Broward Humane Society Adoptable Pets - Dec. 23, 2014

Photo Credit: Humane Society of Broward County]]>
<![CDATA[Miami-Dade Animal Services Adoptable Pets - Dec. 23, 2014]]> Tue, 23 Dec 2014 16:27:18 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/161*120/Curtiss+A1667270.jpg Miami-Dade Animal Services Adoptable Pets - Dec. 23, 2014

Photo Credit: Miami-Dade Animal Services]]>
<![CDATA[$5,000 Reward for Dog Abused with Pierced Leg]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 15:21:25 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/dog+hook+121814.PNG

A new reward is being offered after a dog was found with a horrific injury as a result of animal cruelty.

The Humane Society of the United States is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for abusing Ziggs, a one-year-old pitbull.

The dog was discovered roaming through Miami's Little Haiti neighborhood Wednesday afternoon, sragging a severed leash behind him. That leash was attached to a hooking carabiner that had been forcibly and intentionally inserted into the dog's leg.

Ziggs was rushed to Miami-Dade Animal Services, where staff veterinarians removed the metal clip. The dog was then rescued by Forgotten Dog Rescue, who took him to Dr. Al Meilan at South Federal Animal Hospital.

"The carabiner is a dull thing, so in order to get it, they had to use a drill or something sharp to make the hole first, and then stick the carabiner through his leg," Dr. Meilan said.

Members of the Forgotten Dog Rescue believe the dog's owners used the carabiner to restrain the dog.

"Someone actually went out of their way to do this to this dog," said Amy Blitz with the rescue group. "It ranks on the mutilation type of torture."

Meilan said it appears the ring had been lodged in Ziggs' leg for several months, with evidence of similar injuries in the past.

Alex Muñoz with Miami-Dade Animal Services said the department is actively investigating the crime.

“All pets are very important to us and have a right to be treated with kindness and respect. Acts such as this cannot be tolerated,” said Muñoz. “We urge anyone with information to come forward to assist us in identifying the responsible party.”

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Animal Services Department Investigations Unit at (305) 418-7184.

<![CDATA[Featured Pet: Snoopy]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 15:46:13 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/snoopy+featured+pet+122114.PNG

Our pet of the week is Snoopy, an 8-year-old Chihuahua mix.

Snoopy is an incredibly sweet and friendly dog. He loves to play, but when he's done, he wants nothing more than to snuggle.

Pooches in Pines is helping Snoopy find his forever home. His adoption includes vaccinations, spay and microchipping.

For more information on how to adopt Snoopy or any other animal, visit the Pooches in Pines website here or on their Facebook page.

For more animal news, visit our new All About Animals page. 

<![CDATA[Woman Raises Money to Help Dog Hit by Car]]> Wed, 24 Dec 2014 15:04:26 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/dog+hwd+animal+hospital+122114.jpg

A South Florida woman said she was able to successfully raise funds to help save a dog that was hit by a car on Saturday, thanks to NBC 6 viewers.

Cheryl Linton-Robinson said she found the black lab mix on the side of the road. She drove the dog to St. Francis Animal Hospital in Hollywood, where X-rays revealed a badly-crushed pelvis. The dog has no microchip and Robinson has been unable to locate the dog's owners. The hospital confirmed the dog is currently in their care.

Robinson said the dog requires emergency surgery by a bone specialist and costs are estimated to be around $4,000. Thanks to our NBC 6 viewers, donations poured in to the tune of $5,620.00. Robinson said that if the cost of surgery is less than the donations that she will donate the remaining proceeds to help pay for any other emergency animal surgeries.

In her original post on the donation page, Robinson wrote, "They can only keep him 24 hours so time is of the essence... Please help us get the word out, or this dog will be put to sleep by 8 p.m. tonight."

But since NBC 6 posted the story, Robinson said the hospital reached out to her to clarify that they never would have put the dog to sleep.

On the donation page, Robinson wrote, "Thank you everyone! Just received a call from St. Francis Emergency Animal Hospital. They will not euthanize this dog."

She continued, defending the hospital: "St. Francis Emergency Animal Hospital is a 24 hour pet hospital. I've taken my own pets there on occasion. They have a dedicated staff of animal lovers. When I pulled up yesterday, they gingerly lifted this dog out of my back seat and took such good care of him."

The dog is currently in critical but stable condition. He is on pain medication as the veterinarian ensures the dog is stable and able to survive a long procedure.

To donate to the dog's gofundme page, click here.

<![CDATA[Pet of the Week: PeeWee]]> Sat, 20 Dec 2014 12:12:38 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/pet+of+the+week+peewee+122014.PNG Our pet of the week from the Humane Society of Greater Miami is PeeWee, an 8-month-old Boston Terrier/Jack Russell Terrier mix.]]> <![CDATA[Pet of the Week: PeeWee]]> Sat, 20 Dec 2014 12:11:41 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/pet+of+the+week+peewee+122014.PNG

Our pet of the week is PeeWee, an 8-month-old Boston Terrier/Jack Russell Terrier mix from the Humane Society of Greater Miami.

PeeWee is an active, friendly dog. He gets along well with people as well as other dogs at the shelter.

All adoptions include spay or neuter surgery, vaccinations and microchipping. For more information on how to adopt PeeWee or any other animal, call 305-696-0800 or visit the Humane Society's website here

For more animal news, visit our new All About Animals page.

<![CDATA[Broward Humane Society's Adoptable Pets: Dec. 18, 2014]]> Thu, 18 Dec 2014 16:14:47 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/181214Brownie+520738.jpg Broward Humane Society's Adoptable Pets Dec. 18, 2014]]> <![CDATA[Miami-Dade Animal Services Adoptable Pets - Dec. 19, 2014]]> Thu, 18 Dec 2014 12:48:29 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*120/Rosa+A1662032.jpg Miami-Dade Animal Services Adoptable Pets - Dec. 19, 2014]]> <![CDATA[Bucket List for Dying Dog]]> Wed, 17 Dec 2014 21:48:30 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/cane-pic.jpg

Instead of sitting inside on a chilly, mid-December evening, Anna and Justin Carter are bundled up and headed out. They have to - it was Cane's idea.

"It was a way for us to cope and turn a tragic event into something positive," Anna Carter told NBCDFW about her and her husband's idea to start "Cane's Bucket List."

Cane is the Carter family pit bull, a 6-year-old they rescued from the Wylie Animal Shelter the day after Christmas, 2008.

"In the past six years, he's proven time and time again how incredibly resilient and loving and unconditional this breed is," Carter said. "All they really want is to love and to be loved."

So that is exactly what the Carters have done since.

That love lead them to trust their gut and get a lump in Cane's throat checked out last month. And when the veterinarian told them it was Thyroid cancer, it was that same love that made the decision to begin expensive chemotherapy treatments an easy one. And it was love that convinced the Carters the best way to spend their dog's final days and months was to do so completing a bucket list of stuff Cane enjoys.

"Because it keeps us focused on keeping him happy, watching him be excited getting, anticipating his reactions to these experiences. Capturing those special moments," Carter said.

And the couple is dedicating as much free time as they can find to cross off the 15 items on the list.

Items like:

Number 3 on Cane's Bucket List - "Tuxedo and bow tie pictures by the Christmas tree."

Number 4 - "Parks. Lots and lots of parks all around DFW."

"And surprisingly I've been telling my family and friends it's been incredibly therapeutic and we truly believe that by doing this we'll be able to look back and know that we've done everything we can both medically, but more importantly emotionally," Carter said about the process. "For the sake of his happiness [to know] that we won't be looking back regretting that we didn't do everything we could."

So bundled up on this Tuesday night, the Carters are checking off list Number 10 - "Pictures in front of the Dallas skyline."

Justin Carter asked Anna to marry him while they were visiting Reunion Tower and the couple later married inside the Bank of America Plaza, so the two prominent features of the skyline have a deep meaning to the Carters.

The couple also has a deep affection for the pit bull breed, the inspiration for Bucket List Number 15 - "Paw it forward."

"By sharing his story, if it can lead to one additional person viewing the pit bull breed in a positive light, if it can lead to one additional pit bull in shelter death row from being rescued into a very loving family [then it is worth it,]" Carter said.

"I think we've succeeded in giving Cane a larger purpose and helping others see how incredibly amazing the pit bull breed can be if given the chance to be part of a very loving and cared for family," Carter told NBCDFW.