<![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 Sat, 30 May 2015 04:42:46 -0400 Sat, 30 May 2015 04:42:46 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Broward Humane Society Adoptable Pets, May 28, 2015]]> Thu, 28 May 2015 20:45:56 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/Ali+424688.jpg Check out the pets looking for loving homes at the Humane Society of Broward County.]]> <![CDATA[Miami-Dade Animal Services Adoptable Pets - May 27, 2015]]> Wed, 27 May 2015 14:58:58 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*125/Abby+A1630422.jpg Miami-Dade Animal Services Adoptable Pets for May 27, 2015.]]> <![CDATA[Pet of the Week: Lucky]]> Sat, 23 May 2015 14:53:54 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/215*120/lucky+potw+052315.PNG

Our pet of the week is Lucky, a 4-year-old Miniature Pinscher mix from the Humane Society of Greater Miami.

Lucky has a great temperament. He loves to play and enjoys being around people. Lucky is very smart and is a fast learner.

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

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

<![CDATA[How to Prevent Children From Suffering Dog Bites]]> Fri, 22 May 2015 12:13:28 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/dog+bite+prevention+052215.jpg

This week is Dog Bite Prevention Week! Which means it’s time for me to remind readers once again, that every year, nearly 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs. And again, I should point out that nearly half of those bitten are children between the ages of five and nine. This year, however, I’d like to examine a different number: seventy seven. This is the percentage of children who are bitten by dogs owned by their family or friends.

Let’s allow that to sink in for a moment - 77% of pediatric dog bite victims are injured by dogs with whom they are very familiar. When parents and dog owners are interviewed by animal control officers or quoted by the press, someone almost always says “The dog just snapped!” This article is not intended to invalidate or diminish the experiences of anyone, especially a child, who may have bitten by a dog. I apologize in advance for any offense this next statement may cause, but it has to be said: dogs do not “just snap”. Ever. So how do these things happen? Why do dogs bite, and why on earth do they bite small children?

Regardless of how deeply we involve our dogs in our lives, at the end of the day, they are animals. As such, they are hard-wired with a “fight or flight” response that determines how they react to stressful situations. While most of us would love to trade our own stress levels for those of the family dog, it’s important to understand that many normal human behaviors can be very frightening to dogs. While I’ve not been able to find an exact statistic, a striking number or dog bites to children happen in conjunction with activities that we consider nice, playful or fun. This only further traumatizes the pediatric bite victim who truly does not understand what he or she did wrong. Here are some everyday childhood behaviors that dogs can perceive as threats.

Hugging and Kissing

Children love giving hugs and kisses. Since they love their dogs as well, it makes perfect sense for them to lavish this sort of attention on the family pet. Hugging and kissing are primate behaviors - and dogs are not primates. In the world of dogs, being grabbed around the neck precedes being taken down by another predator. A kiss can be perceived as an impending bite to the face. Many dogs will tolerate this behavior, but few of them actually enjoy it. And all of them will “tell” you with their body language that they anxious or stressed.

The dog in the picture with me belongs to one of my nurses. She’s a great dog and I love her. But she associates me with shots and x-rays, so the romance is understandably one-sided. Look carefully at her body language. Her ears are back. Her body is tense. The whites of her eyes are visible - a textbook sign of canine anxiety. Most importantly, she is deliberately looking away from me. This is an avoidance behavior, and if you need any more convincing, just Google “child hugging dog image.” The vast majority of them feature dogs that are looking away, looking up or down, or turning their bodies away from the child. Just like Soliel in the picture above, they are tolerating the interaction, but they are not enjoying it. And that can spell trouble down the road. I’ve known Soleil for a long time. She has a very high bite threshold. Had I decided to be stupid and give her a hug or a kiss, she would not have bitten me. However, if I did so several times a day, every day for months or even years, she would have no choice but to correct my behavior with a bite to my face. This is precisely what happens a dog’s warning signs go unnoticed or ignored. Learn these subtle signs of anxiety and stress, and separate children from dogs who may be exhibiting them. The late Dr. Sophia Yin produced a great teaching tool for this purpose. You can check it out by clicking here.http://www.sabalchaseanimalclinic.com/behavior/bodylanguageindogs.html


Children are taught from an early age that sharing is desirable behavior and a gesture of kindness towards those whom they love. Sadly, many children are bitten because they expect dogs to share their toys or treats. Many dogs are guilty of resource guarding, and will lash out at children who approach them while they are eating, or who attempt to take their toys. I believe it is wise to teach children that since people and dogs are different, the rules for them are different as well. People are expected to share. Dogs are not. Keep it simple.

Whenever I write articles like this, I always feel like I’m harping on parents. So this time, my fellow dog owners, I’m talking to you. Resource guarding is unacceptable. It may be understandable, but it almost always leads to aggression down the road. Do not set your dog up for failure. We have zero tolerance for it at Casa Kupkee, and our dogs are far from perfect. If you see signs of resource guarding in your dog, call a trainer and get it fixed.


Remember the “fight or flight” mentality I mentioned earlier? When a child is bothering a dog, all the dog really wants to do is walk away. This is another reason why hugging is so dangerous - the child’s grip might take away the flight option. A dog who walks away from an overbearing child is actually making a very good decision. This behavior, however, makes no sense to a young child, especially given that most youngsters are taught that such behavior is rude. They are expected to pay attention when someone is addressing them, yet Fluffy can make an unceremonious exit without so much as a by-your-leave. It’s confusing! Again, keep it simple. Dog rules are different. If Fluffy doesn’t want to play, she doesn’t have to. Bites to children often occur when the child pursues or chases a dog who has repeatedly “told” its family that it’s had enough.


An animal that is about to attack or kill will stare at its intended target before making its move. While children can be taught that it is impolite to stare, babies cannot. And babies stare! It’s very cute - one can’t help but wonder what is going through their minds as they process this big, crazy world. But a dog might interpret a baby’s stare as a challenge or even a sign of an impending attack. Even when they are carried out by small dogs, bites and attacks to babies are often fatal. Tragedy can strike within seconds. Never leave babies alone with a dog. Not even for a second.

Articles on dog bite prevention are almost always followed heated debates in the comment thread. Dog owners accuse parents of raising badly-behaved kids with no common sense. Parents accuse dog owners of failing to take responsibility for the actions of their out-of-control dogs. The fact of the matter is that safe interactions between children and dogs have the potential to benefit communities as a whole. It is therefore everyone’s responsibility to speak up for members of our communities who cannot speak up for themselves.


Do you have a question for Dr. Kupkee? Click here to send him an email.

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Photo Credit: Sabal Chase Animal Clinic]]>
<![CDATA[Broward Shelter's "Dig"nitary Needs a Home]]> Fri, 22 May 2015 11:50:16 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/layla+broward+052215.jpg

A dog who helped break ground at the new Broward Animal Care shelter is in need of a forever home.

Layla is a gorgeous 2-year-old Pointer mix, who was named the star "dig"nitary for the new shelter's groundbreaking ceremony. Even though she was surrounded by more than 80 people, Layla had no stage fright and performed her digging duties beautifully.

Shelter staff say this well-behaved girl has been at the shelter for over a month. Layla is in urgent need of a new family.

For more information on Layla, visit Broward Animal Care's website. Her animal ID number is A1741096.

Anyone interested in meeting Layla can visit the shelter, located at 1870 SW 39th Street in Fort Lauderdale. The shelter is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and weekends from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Photo Credit: Broward Animal Care]]>
<![CDATA[Broward Humane Society Adoptable Pets, May 21, 2015]]> Fri, 22 May 2015 09:05:47 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/Bert+and+Ernie+1.jpg Check out the pets looking for loving homes at the Humane Society of Broward County]]> <![CDATA[Miami-Dade Animal Services Adoptable Pets-May 19, 2015]]> Wed, 20 May 2015 09:51:00 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/PRISCILLA+A1698665.jpg Check out the pets looking for loving homes at Miami-Dade Animal Services]]> <![CDATA[New Mom and Puppies Need Urgent Foster or Rescue]]> Sun, 17 May 2015 15:16:11 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/foster+puppies+broward+051715.jpg

A dog at Broward Animal Care recently gave birth to three puppies and is in urgent need of a foster home or rescue commitment.

Wednesday is a three-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier. Shelter staff say she is incredibly sweet, loves to give kisses, and thinks she is a lap dog.

Her puppies are only a week-and-a-half old, and need to be in a quiet environment with their mother.

The shelter says they are in desperate need of a foster for this little family. Community service hours are available for students who foster animals from the shelter.

Their animal ID numbers are A1745397, A1745399, A1745400, and A1745401. Anyone interested in helping out Wednesday and her puppies should contact Broward Animal Care at (954) 359-1313, or email rescue@broward.org.

<![CDATA[Pets of the Week: Jack and Jill]]> Sun, 17 May 2015 16:25:09 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/jack+jill+potw+051715.PNG

Our pets of the week are Jack and Jill, two 6-week-old kittens at Broward Animal Care.

Both kittens are playful, and in need of a temporary foster home until they reach two months of age. After that, the foster parent has the option of officially adopting the dynamic duo.

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

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

<![CDATA[All About Pets: Puppy Proofing your Home]]> Fri, 15 May 2015 13:54:03 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/WTVJ_000000018217410_1200x675_446219331612.jpg The experts from Miami-Dade Animal Services discus what steps you should take at home when adopting a puppy.]]> <![CDATA[Broward Humane Society Starts "Pups & Tots" Class]]> Fri, 15 May 2015 13:36:41 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/HSBC+pups+tots+051515.jpg

The Humane Society of Broward County has launched a new education program to help teach children how to treat animals.

The "Pups and Tots" program is geared toward young children, from newborns to four years. The shelter's education department aims to teach kids respect and kindness to animals.

The one-hour class includes story time, an activity, and visits from furry friends. The first "Pups and Tots" session showed children how to properly pet a dog, and listened to a book reading of "Tails Are Not For Pulling." Kids also had the chance to meet the Humane Society's education dogs, Daisy and Cooper.

Adults and children must be registered to attend. The cost is $12.00 per adult, per class. Fore more information or to register for the class, visit the Humane Society's website and click on the Kids Zone tab.

Photo Credit: Humane Society of Broward County]]>
<![CDATA[Miami Humane Society Looking for Cat Ambassadors]]> Fri, 15 May 2015 12:55:24 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/cat+ambassador+hsgm+051515.jpg

Attention cat lovers! The Humane Society of Greater Miami is looking for "Cat Ambassadors" to help find homes for the shelter's felines.

The "Finding Love - Cat Ambassadors Program" aims to promote long-time cats at the shelter. Some have waited for homes for several years.

Potential ambassadors are encouraged to visit the Humane Society's website to select a cat they want to promote. The shelter offers suggestions on how to spread the word, such as placing promotional posters around your neighborhood, posting the cat's story on social media, or wearing a T-shirt (for a $10 donation) that shows off the cat.

The program is open to people of all ages who want to help the shelter's felines find a loving home. Nine-year-old Luna Balzano chose to sponsor a cat named Brandon. She wore a shirt with the cat's picture on it to school, and created a Facebook page to promote Brandon and other pets up for adoption.

“Brandon was with us for over three years when he finally got adopted,” says Yvette Jorge, Cat Kennel and Adoption Supervisor of the Humane Society of Greater Miami. “Thanks to Brandon’s ambassadors’ efforts, he finally found a loving home at the age of ten.”

For more information on the Cat Ambassador program, call (305) 749-1807, or visit the Humane Society's website.

Photo Credit: Humane Society of Greater Miami]]>
<![CDATA[Miami-Dade Offers Free Spay and Neuter Clinic]]> Mon, 18 May 2015 11:37:10 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*123/Sophia+Danucala+with+two+community+cats+Cutie+and+Ginger++and+Saray+Diaz+veterinary+technician+at+the+clinic+.jpg

Two Miami-Dade animal groups say their free and low-cost spay and neuter clinic is making strides to help reduce pet overpopulation.

The Humane Society of Greater Miami and Miami-Dade Animal Services started offering free spay/neuter surgeries in February, thanks to funding from the county. Residents who provide proof of government assistance are eligible to have their pets sterilized and vaccinated for rabies for free. In addition to the surgeries, cats will receive a free FVRCP vaccine and gos receive a free DHPP vaccine.

The program is part of the county's effort to become a no-kill community, with the goal of reducing the number of homeless cats and dogs roaming the streets and entering local animal shelters. Organizers say the Miami-Dade County Community Spay Neuter Clinic has seen numerous low-income residents take advantage of the program.

“Making spay/neuter surgery and pet vaccines affordable and accessible is a key component to increasing community involvement and to the success of the life-saving services and programs like the ones offered by the Miami-Dade County Community Spay Neuter Clinic,” said Alex Muñoz, Director of Miami-Dade Animal Services.

People can also bring in community cats for surgery. According to the clinic, one woman has brought in nearly 20 cats from her neighborhood for sterilization.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to be involved with this project that is so beneficial to many of our neighbors.” says Laurie Hoffman, Executive Director at the Humane Society of Greater Miami. “It’s gratifying to know that we can make a difference in the community by promising a future with significantly less cats and dogs walking about the streets without a home.”

The Miami-Dade County Community Spay Neuter Clinic is located at 10700 Southwest 211th Street in Cutler Bay. For more information on program, call (305) 749-1854, or visit the Humane Society's website.

Photo Credit: Humane Society of Greater Miami]]>
<![CDATA[Broward Humane Society Adoptable Pets, May 14, 2015]]> Thu, 14 May 2015 16:07:16 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/Adam+528601.jpg Check out the pets looking for loving homes at the Humane Society of Broward County.]]> <![CDATA[Miami-Dade Animal Services Adoptable Pets-May 12, 2015]]> Fri, 15 May 2015 11:55:09 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*131/Pawpaw+A1698003.jpg Check out the pets looking for loving homes at Miami-Dade Animal Services]]> <![CDATA[Manatee Rescued After Becoming Trapped at Pump Station]]> Tue, 12 May 2015 17:53:33 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/051215+trapped+manatee+fort+lauderdale.jpg

A manatee was freed after it became stuck in a pump station in Fort Lauderdale Tuesday.

Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue workers responded to the station at 100 North New River Drive around 10 a.m.

The workers were able to rescue the manatee with the help of the dive team and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

A crane was used to help lift the animal out. The female manatee is about 7-foot and weighs between 400-500 pounds, officials said.

Deputy Fire Chief Timothy Heiser said the manatee was reported trapped Monday night and they gave it a day to see if it find its own way out, but it didn't.

The manatee will be taken to the Miami Seaquarium to get checked out.

"He looks pretty banged up right now," Heiser said.

Photo Credit: Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue]]>
<![CDATA[Clouded Leopard Kittens Get a Checkup at Zoo Miami]]> Mon, 11 May 2015 22:04:07 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/181*120/Clouded+Leopard+checkup1.jpg 10-week-old clouded leopard kittens get a checkup at Zoo Miami]]> <![CDATA[Rare Clouded Leopard Kittens Get a Checkup at Zoo Miami]]> Mon, 11 May 2015 22:10:53 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/816.jpg

Zoo Miami's two 10-week-old clouded leopard cubs got their vaccinations and a physical exam Monday.

The two highly endangered female kittens were born on March 9th to mother “Serai” and father “Rajasi.”

Zoo Miami's Ron Magill said the kittens were a bit of a handful during their examination as they were not too pleased to receive their vaccines, but everything turned out very well.

The cubs are still being kept secluded in a den with their mother while their exhibit goes through some modifications.

Clouded Leopards are a very secretive cat found in forests within Southern China, Taiwan, and Malaysia.

Adults usually weigh between 30 to 50 pounds and they have a very long tail with relatively short legs and large paws.

They are highly endangered over most of their range due to hunting for their attractive pelts which have ceremonial value in a variety of cultures.

Photo Credit: NBCMiami.com]]>
<![CDATA[Help! My Pet is Choking!]]> Mon, 11 May 2015 07:45:20 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/dr+kupkee+pet+choking+050915.jpg

Last month’s segment on CPR for pets generated a truly mind-boggling number of responses and requests. By far the most popular request was a demonstration of how to save a dog or cat who is choking. Some readers even shared heartbreaking stories of losing their beloved pets to choking accidents. Every one of these grieving pet parents professed feelings of helplessness and remorse for not knowing what to do to help their fur-baby. It took a lot of courage to share those stories, and while it may be too little too late for those particular pets, perhaps this information might prevent a similar tragedy.

Our pets gather information about their surroundings just like babies and toddlers - by putting anything and everything in their mouths. Factor in prey drive, food drive, boredom, and a love for chewing, and it’s not surprising that so many pets suffer from choking related mishaps. If you think your pet is in trouble, ascertain whether or not he is truly choking. He may be simply making that delightful hacking sound he makes when trying to get rid of a hairball, or a piece of grass that’s tickling his throat. Pets who are choking may exhibit some or all of the following signs:

  •  Acting anxious or frantic
  •  Not breathing
  •  Gums turning blue or white
  •  Making loud, rasping sounds
  •  Pawing at his face
  •  Gasping for breath

If you see any of these signs, it’s time to take action. And your first action should be to call for help.

Bear in mind that a pet who cannot breathe will be very frightened, and therefore likely to bite. Stay calm. A panicked cat may do better wrapped in a towel or a blanket, but don’t waste time looking for one. If you can’t grab it easily, don’t bother.

Open your pet’s mouth and look inside. If you can see what he’s choking on, reach in and grab it, or have your helper do it. Get your hand out of the mouth quickly!! I cannot stress this strongly enough - there is a very good chance you will be bitten. Do this at your own risk and for goodness sake be careful. When our younger dachshund was choking on a tiny mango seed, my wife pushed me out of the way and pulled out the seed herself. When I took her task about it later, she stated rather bluntly, “You’re a surgeon. I’m not. You can’t afford to get bitten. I can.” Do this at your own risk, and seek medical attention for any bites. Cat bites in particular are a source of dangerous infections. Remember, this is frightening for your pet. If they struggle and howl, don’t be surprised, but don’t give up. Use tough love. They will forgive you. If you can see the object, but cannot reach it, stop. Don’t risk pushing it further down into the trachea. If you see a sharp object embedded in the roof of the mouth, stop. While your pet is distressed, he can breathe. Go straight to the vet where it will be removed under sedation. This is a common emergency with cats, as they absolutely love sewing needles!

If you can’t remove the foreign body within 20 seconds, you’ll need to progress to the pet version of the Heimlich maneuver. There are varying opinions on how to do this. The one that I feel has the best chance of success has been endorsed by the American Red Cross and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation. It also makes gravity work in your favor! For a large breed dog, pick up just the back end like a wheelbarrow, so the dog’s head tilts downward. You can place your knee underneath his hips to give yourself some leverage, and limit his mobility. Make a fist and place it in the soft spot right under the ribs, just as you might do for a human. Press the fist into the body, and up toward the dog’s head. Do four to five quick repetitions, and do it like you mean it. Use some pressure. Obviously, you don’t want to break a rib, but broken ribs can be fixed. Choking is life or death.

For cats and small dogs, pick the pet up by the hips or thighs so that he’s actually hanging upside down. A few shakes, combined with gravity, may be just enough to dislodge the foreign body. If you have a friend with you, have them look in the mouth while the pet is upside down. Again, when combined with gravity, it may be possible to remove the object. And again, do this very, very carefully!

For a cat or small dog Heimlich, pick up the pet, and hold his back against your stomach. Bend forward at the waist (remember, gravity!) so his head is pointing down toward the floor. Just like for a person or large dog, place your fist in that same spot under the rib cage, and apply quick pressure up and forward, about four to five times.

If your pet has collapsed and you cannot pick him up, you can use this move for a pet that is lying on his side. If you are physically unable to pick up or tilt your pet, don’t despair. Use this position instead. Lie your pet on his side, preferably the right side, place your fist in the same place, and press into the body, and up toward the pet’s head.

Some clinicians recommend so-called “back blows.” This procedure involves using the heel of your hand to strike the pet between the shoulder blades using a slightly forward motion. Perhaps I am biased because I own dachshunds, a breed that is naturally prone to back problems, but I am not a fan of back blows. I worry about causing dangerous spinal cord injuries in cats and small dogs. That being said, many lay people have reported success with this technique, so I think it’s only fair to mention it. If you decide to use it, please do so carefully.

If the object is still stuck after about 30 seconds, go back to the rescue breathing techniques we learned about last month. Start administering CPR, and remember, your pet has the best chance of survival if someone else is driving you to the vet while you render aid. Once your pet arrives at the hospital, the veterinary team may be able to remove the object using long forceps. In extreme cases, an emergency tracheotomy may be performed. This procedure involves making an incision in the trachea, and inserting a tube that bypasses the obstruction, and allows the pet to breathe through the tube while the foreign body is removed.

Even when these procedures are successful at home, they often leave collateral damage such as bruising and tracheal tears. Even if your pet appears to be fine, have him checked out by your vet as soon as possible. Next time we’ll talk about common choking hazards, in the hopes you will never need this information.

Do you have a question for Dr. Kupkee? Click here to send him an email.

Click here to check out deals and discounts exclusively for NBC 6 fans!

Photo Credit: Sabal Chase Animal Clinic]]>
<![CDATA[Pet of the Week: Kuzco]]> Sat, 09 May 2015 12:28:17 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/potw+kuzco+050915.PNG

Our pet of the week is Kuzco, a 3-year-old Pomeranian/Miniature Pinscher mix from the Humane Society of Greater Miami.

Kuzco is a friendly, gentle pup. He is calm and has a sweet personality. Kuzco walks well on a leash and loves to be a lap dog.

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

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

<![CDATA[Broward Humane Society Adoptable Pets, May 7, 2015]]> Fri, 08 May 2015 12:57:40 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/Abby+468217+-+Copy.jpg Check out the pets looking for loving homes at the Humane Society of Broward County.]]> <![CDATA[Wanted: Foster Parents for Miami Kittens]]> Thu, 07 May 2015 08:49:13 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/050715+miami+kittens+need+foster+homes+cover.jpg

Here's a chance to add some prime cuteness to your home!

Foster moms and dads are needed for more than 80 kittens who are in need of temporary homes from the Humane Society of Greater Miami.

The organization says the sheer number of kittens being brought to the shelter in need of foster homes is growing daily, so they're reaching out to encourage more families to consider fostering the kittens until they're ready for adoption.

They currently have more than 110 kittens in the foster program, but need to find homes for more than 80 now.

Most of these kittens are already eating on their own and are properly trained to use the litter box, but shelter life simply does not compare to the love and warmth a foster home can provide.

The Humane Society will provide all necessary food and supplies to that foster families can focus on providing the love and affection that will help these kittens grow.

For more information or to get involved, call (305) 749-1821, email foster@humanesocietymiami.org, or visit The Humane Society of Greater Miami on the web.

Photo Credit: The Humane Society of Greater Miami]]>
<![CDATA[Service Dogs Help War Veterans to Heal]]> Fri, 08 May 2015 11:22:10 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/vets+helping+heroes.jpg

Man's best friend is answering the call to aid injured veterans of every generation.

Service dogs are proving to be a priceless remedy for our brave military men and women.

You wouldn't expect to see a dog roaming the halls of a VA hospital.  But dogs like Bruce, a black lab, are there to work.

He serves veterans, like U.S. Marine Terry Bryant who fought in Vietnam, helping them recover from the wounds of war.

After 20 years as a drill sergeant, Bryant wants peace.

"He settles you down, settles your inner thoughts," Bryant said about Bruce. "Maybe some things are troubling you -- maybe home problems or whatever. It helps for that."

Therapy dogs like Bruce, Cash and Jennie are trained to help ex-military personnel cope with a host of struggles, from PTSD to lost limbs. But the deepest pain is loneliness.

Bruce has the strength and the gentleness to comfort the heroes who can barely speak for themselves.

"Bruce is good at what he does.  He is a very nice dog," Bryant said.

The only downside to Bruce is that there are not enough service dogs like him to go around. Veterans wait years to get dogs like him.

World War II veteran Irwin Stovroff is the man who makes it happen.

Nine years ago, Stovroff realized that the government had no money to provide veterans with service dogs.  So at the age of 92, he stepped in and created the organization, Vets Helping Heroes.

"I was lucky enough to realize this was an opportunity for me to really do something," Stovroff said.

He teamed up with trainers, and since 2006, has matched 120 dogs with wounded veterans around the country.

Bruce is one of three pups dedicated to an entire hospital.

A POW himself, Stovroff has dedicated his life to making his comrades lives better, and he doesn't plan to stop.

"It not only changed my life, it made my life," he said.  "It's love -- the only love you can get like that is to look in a dog's eyes and you'll see love.

It's an unconditional love that conflict and injury cannot break.

To find out more about Vets Helping Heroes, click here.

Photo Credit: NBCMiami.com]]>
<![CDATA[Miami-Dade Animal Services Adoptable Pets-May 5, 2015]]> Tue, 05 May 2015 20:24:03 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/190*120/Blackie+A1692820.jpg Check out the pets looking for loving homes at Miami-Dade Animal Services]]> <![CDATA[Featured Pet: Sydney]]> Sun, 03 May 2015 13:02:13 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/potw+sydney+050315.PNG

Our featured pet is Sydney, a 4-year-old Boxer mix at Broward Animal Care who is looking for a loving home.

Sydney is playful and loves belly rubs. She walks well on a leash and is even potty trained. Sydney is heartworm positive, and will be perfectly healthy once she is finished with medication.

Sydney'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.

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

<![CDATA[Pet of the Week: Kai]]> Sat, 02 May 2015 12:21:59 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/kai+potw+050215.PNG

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

When Kai first came to Pooches in Pines, he had broken ribs, was underweight, and had been abused. He is perfectly healthy now, and looking for a loving family. He is shy at first and needs a home that can provide him with training.

Kai is quiet and gentle with a sweet disposition. He loves kids and gets along with other dogs. Kai is a "Pocket Pit" due to his small stature. He is full-grown at 32 pounds.

Pooches in Pines is helping Kai find his forever home. His adoption includes vaccinations, neutering and microchipping. For more information on how to adopt Kai or any other animal, visit the Pooches in Pines website or on their Facebook page.

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

<![CDATA[HSBC, Marlins Team Up for "Bark at the Park"]]> Fri, 01 May 2015 13:58:00 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/broward+humane+bark+park+050115.jpg

Dog owners looking for a tail-wagging good time can catch a ballgame with their four-legged friend this summer.

The Humane Society of Broward County has partnered with the Miami Marlins for "Bark at the Park," where fans can bring their dogs to cheer on the Fish as they take on the San Diego Padres on Sunday, August 2nd at 1:10 p.m.

Ticket prices are $15 for humans and $10 for dogs. All proceeds from the dog ticket sales will benefit the Humane Society of Broward County.

Tickets are only available at marlins.com/specialevents and must be purchased in advance. Tickets will not be available at the HSBC shelter or the stadium.

All dogs must have current vaccinations and display their current valid rabies tag. Owners must bring their dogs' rabies certificates. Dogs who do not have proper proof of rabies vaccination may be prohibited from entering Marlins Park.

Photo Credit: Humane Society of Broward County]]>
<![CDATA[HSBC Offers Free Targeted Spay/Neuter Program for Cats]]> Fri, 01 May 2015 13:20:02 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Shelter+Cat+081114.jpg

The Humane Society of Broward County and Broward County Animal Care & Adoption are teaming up for a collaborative spay and neuter project for cats starting Friday, May 1st.

The "Mission Catpossible" project will sterilize felines for no charge for residents who live in areas with the highest surrender rate of cats.

Pet owners who live in the following zip codes can take advantage of the free sterilization: 33009, 33021, 33023, 33024, 33025, 33060, 33314, 33315, 33317, 33324, and 33325. Proof of residency is required to take advantage of the free program.

"Our goal is to sterilize an additional 4,000 felines in the next 12 months," said HSBC president and CEO Christoper Agostino. "Currently the HSBC provides low cost spay/neuter to nearly 12,000 pets that have homes, and for feral and free roaming cats each year. This is in addition to spaying/neutering more than 8,000 animals that are placed through the shelter’s adoption program."

Appointments are required, and surgeries will be performed on the HSBC mobile unit seven days a week. To schedule an appointment, call (954) 463-SPAY (7729) or send an email here.

To learn more about "Mission Catpossible," visit the Humane Society's website.

<![CDATA[Two-Headed Calf Born on North Florida Farm]]> Fri, 01 May 2015 12:52:26 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/two+headed+calf+050115.PNG

A two-headed calf was recently born on a farm in northern Florida.

Multiple news sources report the calf was born Sunday in Baker County. Dwight Crews, the owner of the farm, says he hadn't seen one born in his more than 60 years of raising cattle.

Crews says the female calf has trouble standing up, but has been feeding from a bottle. While one mouth suckles, the other mouth moves.

Ripley's Believe It or Not has been in contact with Crews and says the longest a two-headed calf has survived is 40 days.

<![CDATA[Broward Humane Society Adoptable Pets - April 30, 2015]]> Thu, 30 Apr 2015 19:43:31 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/Baby+528429.jpg Broward Humane Society Adoptable Pets - April 30, 2015]]> <![CDATA[Baby Ducklings Rescued From Drain in Ft. Lauderdale]]> Thu, 30 Apr 2015 17:21:46 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/rescuedduckies.jpg

A worried mother duck has been reunited with her little ducklings thanks to Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue teams.

The tiny ducklings fell and became stuck in a storm drain near 500 Northeast Court-11 in Fort Lauderdale early Thursday.

Nearby rescue teams sprung into action, lifting the storm drain and bringing the baby ducks back up to the surface, tweeting these adorable photos along the way.

The anxious mama duck waited nearby.

Crews reunited mom and babies and sent them waddling on their way.

Photo Credit: Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue]]>
<![CDATA[Bears Caught on Camera Enjoying Pool ]]> Tue, 28 Apr 2015 19:43:47 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/bears+in+pool.jpg

Three bears were caught on camera breaking into the patio area of a home in Southwest Florida, and having some fun around the pool.

The homeowner grabbed a camera and started recording. In the video you can see three bears playing near a pool then taking a drink.

It happened at a home in Golden Gate in Collier County. Neighbors say the bears are known to show up on trash day looking for food, but this time they decided to have a play date by the pool.

And neighbors asay the uninvited guests are making them nervous.

Corinne Greeling snapped pictures of the bears on garbage day. Her trash cans show permanent marks of bear scratches.

"I've tried strapping them down but they just tear the pilings out," she said.

Judy Burris took it one step further. She had a few of her own encounters and caught it on camera back in February.

"We'd known the bears were getting on the patio... they had originally torn that screen out... they were simply coming in to drink the water and probably to play," she said.

You don't see bears wrestle on your pool deck every day, and Burris said she didn't want to either.

"The Fish and Wildlife Service advice was to scare that bear," she said.

So she bought an an animal alarm that was triggered when the bears came onto her patio.

"They clearly didn't run in fear but the alarm made them uncomfortable and they didn't want to stick around," Burris said.

She says she's convinced the screeching sound of the alarm is working.

"I've never seen them back and I've never seen the signs that they've been back," she said.

Burris added that the animal alarm is an effort to protect the bears, a non-violent way to keep them away.

<![CDATA[Miami-Dade Animal Services Adoptable Pets-April 28, 2015]]> Thu, 30 Apr 2015 09:05:28 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*120/Trixie+A1690102.jpg Check out the pets looking for loving homes at Miami-Dade Animal Services]]> <![CDATA[Featured Pet: Axel]]> Sun, 26 Apr 2015 11:54:52 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/axel+potw+042615.PNG

Our pet of the week is Axel, a 9-week-old Snowshoe/Bobtail mix kitten from the Humane Society of Broward County.

Axel is a sweet kitten who is looking for a loving home. He is adorable and playful. Axel loves to snuggle.

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

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

<![CDATA[Pet of the Week: Honey]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 16:46:44 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/205*120/potw+honey+042515.PNG

Our pet of the week is Honey, a 3-year-old Rat Terrier mix from the Humane Society of Greater Miami.

Honey is a friendly, gentle dog. She is calm and has a sweet personality. Honey loves kids and would make a great family dog.

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

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

<![CDATA[Broward Humane Society Adoptable Pets, April 23, 2015]]> Thu, 23 Apr 2015 21:44:33 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/1Grace+511268.jpg Check out the pets looking for loving homes at the Humane Society of Broward County]]> <![CDATA[Dogs Rescued From Puppy Mill Find New Lives]]> Wed, 22 Apr 2015 23:41:53 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/puppy+mill+dogs.JPG

Seven dogs were resting easy Wednesday night, after long ride and finding a new life in South Florida.

Just weeks ago these healthy, happy dogs were living in filthy, deplorable conditions in a puppy mill.

"The dogs lived in small confined cages, their sole purpose in life was to produce puppies," said Cherie Wachter of the Humane society of Broward County.

More than 130 dogs were seized by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals from the puppy mill in Alabama. Now, they've been transported to various animal welfare agencies across the country, including the Human Society of Broward County.

"It's a really sad thing and people need to be aware of when you buy that puppy from a pet store you know... the parents.. the conditions they are living in," Wachter said.

Another no-kill sanctuary in Arkansas also surrendered their dogs to the ASPCA recently, adding 2 more pups to the Humane Society's care. Many of the dogs suffered from malnourishment, medical issues, and even the remains of puppies were found on the property.

"They admitted that they could not take care of the animals anymore. The pets there were not all spayed or neutered," said Wachter.

The Human Society of Broward county says they're taking good care of the dogs and now hope South Florida residents will give them a second chance to live a better life.

"Hopefully these animals will be able to forget their pasts and go on to live very happy lives," said Wachter

The animals are expected to be ready for adoption by Friday. If you are not able to adopt, you can always make a donation to the Humane Society. You can find the information here.

Photo Credit: Courtesy: ASPCA]]>
<![CDATA[Dog Rescued From Miramar Canal; Owner Sought]]> Tue, 21 Apr 2015 16:25:01 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Dog+Rescue+Miramar.jpg

Firefighters in Miramar came to the rescue of a four-legged victim Tuesday, just in time to save a life.

Miramar Fire Rescue pulled a dog from a canal near Utopia Drive just moments before the animal was about to drown.

The dog's owner was not located, so firefighters turned the dog over to Broward Animal Control.

If you recognize the dog in the picture, or know who the owner is, call Animal Care and Adoption at 954-359-1349.

<![CDATA[Miami-Dade Animal Services Adoptable Pets-April 21, 2015]]> Tue, 21 Apr 2015 16:00:38 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*120/BFI+A1510148.jpg Check out the pets looking for loving homes at Miami-Dade Animal Services]]> <![CDATA[How To Administer CPR To Your Pet]]> Wed, 29 Apr 2015 11:39:16 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/puppy+cpr.jpg

April is the American Red Cross’s Pet First Aid Awareness Month. What better time to go over the basics of administering CPR to your pet?

Let me start by saying I hope my readers never need this information. No pet parent wants to think about the possibility that their pet might stop breathing and collapse. Unfortunately, the unthinkable can, and sometimes does, happen. Knowing the basics of CPR can give pet owners the confidence needed to stay calm and work the problem in a life or death situation.

Be Prepared

One of the basic elements of pet CPR is the chest compression. I’ll get to the details in a moment, but before administering chest compressions, you must first be able to locate your pet’s heartbeat. In the spirit of preparedness, it’s a good idea to learn how to do this before an emergency strikes. When your pet is lying on her right side, the heart will be facing upward. Gently pull the front leg back, and feel for the heartbeat near what we would call the armpit. You can also find a pulse at the femoral artery, but the heartbeat is the easiest to find. This activity can easily be incorporated into routine down time with your pet. You can take your time, and your pet will simply think she is getting a massage! The more you practice, the more easily you will be able to locate your pet’s heartbeat. Be prepared. You don’t want to waste time finding it in an emergency situation when every second counts.

The ABC’s of CPR

Now let’s imagine a worst-case scenario. Fluffy has collapsed. First, call for help. If you can perform CPR while someone else drives you to the vet, you will greatly improve your pet’s chances. Next, remember your ABC’s. In addition to being very easy to remember, in rescue medicine, ABC is an acronym:

Check to see if she is breathing by watching for a rise and fall of the chest, and putting your face close to her mouth in an attempt to hear or feel any breaths. If she has indeed stopped breathing, you will need to open the Airway by lining up the head with the neck. Next, open the mouth, gently pull out the tongue, and have a look inside. You’re looking for a foreign body that might be blocking the Airway. If you see one, reach inside and pull it out. Get your hand out of the mouth quickly, as the pet may wake up startled, and frightened animals often bite. If there’s nothing there, you’ll need to start rescue Breathing. Hold the pet’s muzzle closed, put your mouth over the nose of a large dog, or the nose and mouth of a small dog or cat. Give four to five quick rescue Breaths - not too deeply, just enough to make the chest rise. Make sure the chest falls between Breaths. Check for a heartbeat, and if you don’t feel one, you’ll need to start chest Compressions.

Before beginning chest Compressions, be sure Fluffy is lying on her right side, so that the heart faces upward. Place the heel of your hand over the heart, lock your hands together, straighten the arms and give 30 rapid chest Compressions. For a large dog, Compressions should go down about two to three inches. For small dogs and cats, a half inch to full inch is an adequate Compression. After your 30 Compressions give two more rescue breaths, then resume chest compressions. This is called a cycle, and is defined by 30 compressions, followed by two rescue breaths. After four cycles - or about one minute - check again for a heartbeat and signs of independant breathing. If you can’t find either, keep going - 30 compressions, two rescue breaths.

You can continue for as long as 20 minutes, but by then, you really need to be at your vet’s office or an emergency clinic if you want to give your pet the best chance of survival.

This truncated recap can be printed out and placed in your pet’s first aid kit
- Know how to find your pet’s heartbeat in advance.
- Know your ABC’s: Airway, Breathing, Compression.
- In an emergency situation, call for help and get someone to drive you to the vet.
-Lie your pet on the right side.
-Quickly check for heartbeat and breathing
-Align the head and neck
-Pull the tongue out
-Look inside for a foreign body
-Close the muzzle, give 4-5 rescue breaths
-Check for signs of life
-Give 30 chest compressions
-Give two rescue breaths
-Repeat three more times
-Check for signs of life
-Keep going if needed

Remember, your can really increase your pet’s chances if you do this on the way to the vet. Even if you are able to revive your pet at home, get her to the vet for follow up care and observation. Diagnostics performed in the wake of an emergency can give your veterinarian an idea as to what caused the crisis in the first place. There is nothing quite like the rush one gets from successfully administering CPR. That being said, you’re not likely to want to do it again anytime soon.

Do you have a question for Dr. Kupkee? Click here to send him an email.

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<![CDATA[All About Pets: Spay and Neuter Voucher]]> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 14:13:02 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/WTVJ_000000017801010_1200x675_429777475712.jpg Miami-Dade Animal Service discusses a new voucher program they offer aimed at helping dogs over 50 pounds get spayed or neutered.]]> <![CDATA[Broward Humane Society Adoptable Pets - April 16, 2015]]> Thu, 16 Apr 2015 19:37:36 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/Aussie+527605.jpg Broward Humane Society Adoptable Pets - April 16, 2015]]> <![CDATA[Dogs Abandoned at Humane Society Getting New Homes]]> Thu, 16 Apr 2015 22:06:15 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Sweet+16+Dogs.jpg

Good news for a group of dogs found abandoned outside of the Miami Humane Society early this month.

Several of the 16 dogs have been adopted and the rest of the animals should be available for adoption soon.

The 16 Maltese-mix dogs were found in horrible condition, dumped on the doorstep of the Humane Society of Greater Miami's shelter on April 3rd.

The animals were stuffed into two crates, stacked on top of and stepping over each other.

Their fur was matted and discolored yellow from urine. All of them knotted and tangled with feces.

Four of the dogs have already been adopted, several others are available now and the rest are expected to be ready for for new homes within a week.

<![CDATA[ZooMiami's New Baby Giraffe Makes 1st Appearance]]> Wed, 15 Apr 2015 14:13:54 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/041515+baby+giraffe+zoo+miami.jpg

ZooMiami's new baby giraffe Princess Buttercup made her first appearance on exhibit Wednesday.

The baby was born April 8 to Sabra and Fezzik. She weighed 108 pounds and stood a little over five feet tall, zoo officials said.

Princess Buttercup was the 47th giraffe born at ZooMiami and the first for Sabra, who came from the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, Iowa.

Fezzik died in November of last year due to age related crippling arthritis.

Giraffes have a pregnancy term of about 15 months. The mother rarely lies down while giving birth and the baby falls about 4-6 feet when born, zoo officials said.

Photo Credit: ZooMiami]]>
<![CDATA[Miami-Dade Animal Services Adoptable Pets-April 14, 2015]]> Tue, 14 Apr 2015 22:25:00 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*120/Brutus+A1679484.jpg Check Out the Pets Looking For Loving Homes in at Miami-Dade Animal Services]]> <![CDATA[Hospital in Marathon Rescues 4 Young, Sick Sea Turtles]]> Tue, 14 Apr 2015 12:28:38 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/COVERclose+up+Jem.jpg

A Marathon animal hospital is busy helping to rehabilitate four young, sick sea turtles, and they're advising residents and visitors that more turtles may be in distress.

The Turtle Hospital says the four, very lethargic green sea turtles were found floating and unable to dive close to the shore ocean side of the Upper Keys in the past 48 hours.

The turtles were picked up by an ambulance and brought to the hospital for care.

Through blood tests, doctors found that the tiny patients had extremely low, life threatening glucose levels.

The hospital is advising residents and visitors that there could be even more baby green sea turtles in distress in the area.

If you see a sea turtle in distress, you're asked to call The Turtle Hospital's 24-hour stranding line at (305) 481-7669.

You can also call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at (888) 404-FWCC.

Photo Credit: The Turtle Hospital]]>