<![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 Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:02:13 -0400 Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:02:13 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Massive Gator Spotted Again at Florida Golf Club]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 15:58:32 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/gatoreatingturtle.jpg

The giant alligator spotted at an Englewood, Florida, golf course is back -- and this time, he's hungry.

The Myakka Pines Golf Course posted a new photo to Facebook Thursday of their famous resident -- a giant alligator affectionately known as "Goliath."

This time, Goliath is chowing down on a giant turtle.

"Sorta nasty to see, but it's the reality of wild animals," the club says on their Facebook page.

Mickie Zada, manager of the club, estimates that Goliath is at least 12 to 13 feet long.

The reptile earned his name after the club polled fans on Facebook on what they should name him.

The other choices were "Viral" and "Myakka Mike."



Photo Credit: Myakka Pines Golf Club ]]>
<![CDATA[Last Chance Dogs at Broward Animal Care]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 14:12:12 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*120/A1730894+LAZARUS.jpg

Four dogs at Broward County Animal Care are considered "last call" and are in need of urgent adoption or rescue. The adoption fee for all of these dogs has been waived!

Norman is a playful and energetic pup that loves to play with everyone. He is a 3-year-old, 42-pound American Staffordshire/Labrador mix. Norman is super friendly, loves people, and would do best in an active home that can keep up with his exuberance. A canine friend to pal around with and chase in the yard might also be just the thing for him. Since he can be a bit hyper, he needs a home that’s prepared to deal with his positive puppy vibes.

Lazarus is a very good boy who loves to play with others in his playgroup sessions. He is a 3-year-old, 55-pound American Staffordshire Terrier who adores people and responds well to commands. Lazarus is a very handsome boy and is always trying to get love and affection from those around him.

Henry is a happy and sweet-natured Vizsla-Shepherd mix, and never met another dog he didn’t like. Henry is just 6 months old and weighs 43 pounds. He was originally found left behind at an area dog park and he’s been nothing but wonderful at Animal Care. Loving to people and playful with other pups, Henry will be a great family dog.

Tex is a 10-month-old Labrador-Hound mix who loves to play. This 45-pound pup plays hard so he needs an equally-active partner to keep up with him. Whether human or canine, Tex is happy just as long as he is loved. He can’t wait to share his youthful energy and affection with his new family either. With so many changes in his young life already, he is really hoping for a stable and secure place to finally call home.

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 1 p.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.

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<![CDATA[Broward Humane Society Adoptable Pets - March 27, 2015]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 12:10:35 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/Dunkin+526268.jpg Broward Humane Society Adoptable Pets - March 27, 2015

Photo Credit: Humane Society of Broward County]]>
<![CDATA[Rescue Group Saves Dog Abandoned on Highway]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 11:49:11 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/sadie+032515.PNG The rescue group 100+ Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida rescued Sadie, a dog who was thrown out of the car by Interstate 95 and then hit by a vehicle. The group has rescued more than 3,000 dogs in the area and needs help to continue its mission.]]> <![CDATA[Miami-Dade Animal Services Adoptable Pets - March 25, 2015]]> Wed, 25 Mar 2015 20:40:57 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*120/Bart+A1684433.jpg Miami-Dade Animal Services Adoptable Pets for March 25, 2015.]]> <![CDATA[It's National Puppy Day!]]> Mon, 23 Mar 2015 13:36:56 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/dogs_generic_shelter_puppies.jpg

Who doesn't love puppies?

Monday, March 23 is a day to indulge in that puppy love. It's National Puppy Day!

Founded in 2006 by celebrity pet and lifestyle author Colleen Paige, National Puppy Day was launched as a way to celebrate the magic and unconditional love that puppies bring into our lives.

The day is also intended to help save orphaned puppies, to educate the public about puppy mills and to push for puppy-free pet stores.

Paige is also the founder behind National Dog Day and National Cat Day.

National Puppy Day has trended worldwide on Twitter since 2012, and so far, 2015 appears to be no exception. According to initial data from Topsy.com, the hashtag #NationalPuppyDay had already been used more than 10,000 times by noon.

We want to see photos of the puppies that are bringing joy to your lives! Email your puppy photos to isee@nbc6.com or Tweet/Instagram us using the hashtags #NationalPuppyDay and #NBC6. We may use your photos in a gallery on our website!

For more information on National Puppy Day, visit the National Puppy Day website.

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<![CDATA[Featured Pet: Samantha]]> Sun, 22 Mar 2015 14:16:56 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/potw+samantha+32215.PNG

Our pet of the week is Samantha, a 1-year-old black Labrador at Broward Animal Care who is looking for a loving home.

Samantha is a beautiful, friendly dog. She loves to go for walks and is great on a leash. Samantha is a sweet, calm dog who will make a great family pet.

Samantha'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.

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<![CDATA[Pet of the Week: Rusty]]> Sat, 21 Mar 2015 17:47:19 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/potw+rusty+032115.PNG

Our pet of the week is Rusty, a 3-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback mix from Pooches in Pines.

Rusty is an active, sweet dog. He is friendly and loves people and other dogs. Rusty knows basic commands and walks well on a leash. He will make a great family dog.

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

For more information on how to adopt Rusty 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. 

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<![CDATA[Korean Meat-Farm Dogs Taken to Shelters for Adoption]]> Sun, 22 Mar 2015 13:22:56 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/215*120/dog84.JPG

Most of the 57 dogs rescued from the butcher in South Korea are doing well at a San Francisco animal shelter and are getting ready to find new homes in the United States.

On Friday, the dogs, mostly puppies, were being sent to four adoption agencies in San Francisco, the East Bay, Marin and Sacramento. The dogs were rescued from a meat farm outside of Seoul, where dog meat is considered a delicacy, according to the SPCA.

"We're making a difference for these 57 dogs," said Lisa Bloch of the Marin Humane Society. "We're shining a light" on a "gruesome industry."

The International Humane society rescued these 57 dogs from a slaughterhouse in South Korea after their owner decided to get out of the dog meat business and grow chilies instead.  People kill an estimated two million dogs a year for food, where in South Korea, dog meat is considered a delicacy. 

Because these particular breeds are considered food in South Koreans, people don't view them as pets. That's why these dogs ended up here in the United States.

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<![CDATA[Pets and Toxins on the Table]]> Fri, 20 Mar 2015 11:42:12 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/toxins+table+032015.jpg

March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month! We’ve talked about toxins in the medicine cabinet and toxins in the yard. It’s time to talk about potential pet poisonings that we eat every day.

Chocolate

Last year, my wife picked up some dark chocolate covered pomegranate seeds at our local health food store. We figured they were not as bad for us as some other snacks, so we left them on the coffee table where we could easily grab a few, and satisfy our cravings for sweets. Several hours later, we heard the unmistakable sound of a Whole Foods container hitting a tile floor. We looked at each other in disbelief. The only dog in that part of the house was Zohan. The good one. The hellion was asleep in her bed. We rushed downstairs to find that Zohan, the good dog, had consumed about a half cup of these “healthy” treats. To put it another way, this was about three times the lethal dose for a dog his size. We dragged him away from his conquest and into the yard, where we used hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting. Lots. And Lots. Of vomiting. When his ordeal was over and he was allowed back inside, he returned to the scene of the crime in search of more chocolate!

Despite his miserable post-binge experience, chocolate remains the one food for which Zohan will defy his training with reckless abandon. He will fixate on a tray of brownies. He will deftly pluck an Oreo from a child’s hand. I’ve even caught him trying to chew open a bottle of cocoa scented hand lotion. He does it for the same reason we all eat foods that are bad for us - it’s darn delicious, and frankly, it’s worth it! We have to watch him like a hawk.

I share this rather unflattering example of my shortcomings as a pet owner for two reasons. First, I feel like I’ve devoted a lot of past column space to sounding the alarm over chocolate. That being said, we still regularly see chocolate toxicity, as does nearly every practitioner in the country! Second, pet parents need to know that pets are unpredictable, and can easily take us by surprise. My own dogs have caught me off guard and I know better. Nobody’s perfect. Chocolate contains theobromine, a compound that causes stomach upset, increased respiratory rate, dangerously high heart rates, seizures, coma and cardiac failure in both dogs and cats. If you suspect your pet has eaten chocolate, call your veterinarian right away. Be honest, and don’t be embarrassed.

Alcohol and Caffeine

Beer and fruit-flavored mixed drinks are very attractive to dogs. Cocktails containing cream or half-and-half are irresistible to cats. Ditto for cafe con leche. Alcohol and caffeine toxicities are some of the leading causes of visits to the emergency clinic. Symptoms include respiratory depression, cardiac problems, and liver damage, so keep any adult beverages out of your fur-kid’s reach.

Garlic and Onions

Garlic and onions are species belonging to the allum family, a type of plant that while beneficial for humans, is not tolerated by dogs and cats. Other common foods in this category include shallots, leeks, chives, and Chinese onions. Seasoning and spice packets are especially problematic as they contain very high concentrations. Pets that ingest these foods often suffer from gastrointestinal distress. When these larger amounts are consumed, a life-threatening condition called Heinz body anemia can develop. Clinical signs include lethargy, inappetance, pale gums, increased respiration and collapse. Pets suffering from Heinz body anemia must be hospitalized and given blood transfusions in order to survive the condition.

Grapes and Raisins

These healthy treats contain a substance that has yet to be identified, but has been definitively linked to kidney failure in dogs and cats. Because they are often given to children as healthy snacks, it is important to make sure that the youngsters understand that they will make pets very sick.

Xylitol

Xylitol is a natural, sugarless sweetener found in many sugar-free candies, mints, chewing gums, and snacks. Those sugar-free gelatin and pudding snacks that kids love, probably contain xylitol and should never be shared. Additionally, xylitol is often used to sweeten vitamins, supplements, mouthwash and toothpaste! This is one of the many reasons pet owners are advised never to use their own toothpaste on their pets. Clinical signs of xylitol toxicity include stomach upset, tremors, lethargy, collapse, seizures, and jaundice. Left untreated, the condition can lead to liver failure and death. Since items containing xylitol often find their way into purses, a good rule of thumb is to keep purses where pets cannot reach them, and instruct all guests to do the same.

Remember, these are only a few of the most common culprits in pet poisonings. If you think your pet has ingested a toxin, call your veterinarian immediately. You can also call the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661. As of the time of this writing, there is a $39 per incident fee for this service.

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

Click here for special deals and discounts exclusively for NBC6.com fans!



Photo Credit: Sabal Chase Animal Clinic]]>
<![CDATA[Broward Humane Society Adoptable Pets - March 20, 2015]]> Fri, 20 Mar 2015 11:15:04 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/Gracie+525987.jpg Broward Humane Society Adoptable Pets - March 20, 2015

Photo Credit: Humane Society of Broward County]]>
<![CDATA[PHOTOS: The Rescued Street Dogs of Havana]]> Fri, 20 Mar 2015 10:36:16 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP515951884285_0_CubaDogs.jpg The animal protection society in Cuba keeps a list of 21 dogs living in state institutions. At night, the animals patrol the streets with local police or sleep under a museum’s grand stairway. Click for photos of the cute pups.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[42 Chihuahuas Removed From Miami-Dade Home Up for Adoption]]> Fri, 20 Mar 2015 10:17:00 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/031915+miami-dade+chihuahuas.jpg

Miami-Dade County Animal Services is looking for homes for 42 Chihuahuas that were removed from a home Wednesday.

The Chihuahuas were removed from a home in northwest Miami-Dade but were found to be in good condition after an evaluation by shelter veterinarians, animal services officials said.

An anonymous tip led animals services to the home, officials said. They called it a case of dog hoarding and uncontrolled breeding, and said the owner voluntarily surrendered the animals.

"Uncontrolled breeding is a large contributor to the number of homeless pets in our community," said Alex Muñoz, Director of Miami-Dade County Animal Services. "We can’t stress enough the importance of spaying or neutering pets, which not only helps reduce the number of unwanted pets, but also helps them live longer and healthier lives."

The Chihuahuas can be adopted by visiting the shelter located at 7401 Northwest 74th Street in Miami. Adoption hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more info visit animals.miamidade.gov.



Photo Credit: Miami-Dade Animal Services]]>
<![CDATA[Miami-Dade Animal Services Adoptable Pets]]> Wed, 18 Mar 2015 12:57:29 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*120/Mary+A1645005.jpg Adopt a pet today at Miami-Dade Animal Services. Call 305-884-1101 for more information]]> <![CDATA[App Uses Facial Recognition To Bring Pets Home]]> Wed, 18 Mar 2015 18:48:29 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/facedogs.jpg

It's estimated that more than 10 million pets go missing every year. Now, real-time face recognition can help bring some of these animals home, and the Miami-Dade Animal Services is on board.

Finding Rover, a free mobile app, uses facial recognition technology to help families find their missing pets on the spot by simply taking a photo on a mobile device.

"You take a picture of your dog. If you ever lose your dog, you report it lost," Finding Rover founder John Polimeno said. "Anybody that's found your dog and has the app takes a picture of it, it can instantly match it with our facial recognition."

Beginning Wednesday, Miami-Dade Animal Services' entire database of missing dogs will be automatically uploaded and integrated into the Finding Rover mobile app.

Users who download the app and register their pets can use a photo of their missing dog and instantly find out if they've been picked up by the shelter.

“We hope everyone who has a dog in our community can take advantage of this opportunity to ensure the safe return of their dog that may go missing through the use of this free app,” said Alex Muñoz, Director of Animal Services. “We receive approximately 500 pets a week at the shelter and the Finding Rover app is an important technological tool that can help us reunite lost pets with their owners.”

Miami-Dade is the first shelter in Florida to partner with Finding Rover. The service has already launched in San Antonio and Houston.

Some key benefits of Finding Rover include:

  • Easy to register: Registration can be done easily through Facebook and email – all you need is a picture of your dog and a zip code
  • Easy to use: Anyone with a mobile phone can take a photo of a lost dog, which will be instantly posted on Finding Rover.
  • Technologically advanced: Finding Rover spent two years with The University of Utah research and development (R&D) department creating its proprietary facial recognition technology. Finding Rover has the only technology that instantly recognizes a dog on the spot.
  • Social: Finding Rover unites dog owners based on common interests and provides a forum for users to read up on the latest dog news, share content and interact.
  • Free! Finding Rover is free to download.

Finding Rover works on iPhone, Android, or the Web.



Photo Credit: Miami-Dade Animal Services]]>
<![CDATA[Featured Pets: Romeo and Juliet]]> Sun, 15 Mar 2015 17:08:45 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/romeo+juliet+ferrets+031515.PNG

Our featured pets this week are Romeo and Juliet, two 4-year-old ferrets from the Humane Society of Broward County.

Romeo and Juliet are inquisitive, fun pets. Ferrets are active and do well in pairs, but do require a fair amount of time and attention.

Ferrets can be adopted for $55. The shelter has a two-for-one special right now, which means both Romeo and Juliet can be adopted for the price of one. For more information on how to adopt these two ferrets 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. 

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<![CDATA[Pet of the Week: Nia]]> Sat, 14 Mar 2015 15:16:47 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/nia+potw+031415.PNG

Our pet of the week is Nia, a 2-year-old Jack Russell-Chihuahua mix from the Humane Society of Greater Miami.

Nia is a friendly dog who adores people. She  has a calm demeanor and loves attention. Nia has a sweet personality and would make a great family dog.

All adoptions include spay or neuter surgery, vaccinations and microchipping. For more information on how to adopt Kirk 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.

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<![CDATA[Dog-Friendly Event Raises Money for Cancer Research]]> Sat, 14 Mar 2015 14:29:55 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/202*120/bark_off_2478.jpg

Four-legged friends gathered in Miami Shores on Saturday morning for a "doggone" good time that also helped a good cause.

The second-annual Bark Off took place in Constitution Park, featuring a neighborhood dog walk, dog obstacle course and contests. NBC 6's Adam Kuperstein served as Master of Ceremonies for the event, with all proceeds going to the Heidi Hewes chapter of the Woman's Cancer Association in Miami Shores.

The organization said 100 percent of funds raised would go to cancer research at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Sylvester Cancer Center.



Photo Credit: Adam Kuperstein]]>
<![CDATA[Broward Humane Society Adoptable Pets - March 13, 2015]]> Fri, 13 Mar 2015 08:33:09 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/Angel+525454.jpg Broward Humane Society Adoptable Pets - March 13, 2015

Photo Credit: Humane Society of Broward County]]>
<![CDATA[Puppy, Kittens Snuggle Stress Away!]]> Fri, 13 Mar 2015 08:34:54 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Snuggle+Delivery.jpg

Snuggles for sale!

The Humane Society of Broward County has announced a new program that will bring puppies and kittens to your office or workplace with one goal in mind -- to snuggle your stress away.

For a donation of $150, adoptable puppies and kittens will be delivered to business across Broward County to cuddle with employees.

Aside from the undeniable "awwe" factor, the donations will benefit all the animals at the shelter by helping to provide vaccinations, spay/neuter surgeries and more, plus promote animal adoption.

The human benefits are hard to deny as well. As reported by NBC News, researchers say that human interaction with animals helps humans cope with depression and certain stress-related disorders.

Studies also show that just a few minutes of stroking a pet prompts the immediate release of a number of "feel good" hormones in humans, including serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin.

In addition, the study says petting our pooches results in decreased levels of the primary stress hormone cortisol, the adrenal chemical responsible for regulating appetite and cravings for carbohydrates.

For more information on snuggle delivery, visit the Humane Society of Broward County on the web.

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<![CDATA[Massive Alligator Spotted at Englewood Golf Club]]> Thu, 12 Mar 2015 07:43:34 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/biggatorrrrrrr.jpg

Imagine spotting this dinosaur-like creature as you make your way to the seventh hole.

This massive alligator is said to be the newest resident of the Myakka Pines Golf Club in Englewood, Fla.

Mickie Zada, manager of the club, says it's not at all uncommon to spot gators on the course which is built on a former swamp. At one point, Zada says wildlife officials counted 157 species of birds at the golf facility.

This particularly large gator appears to have taken up residence at the club's white course on the seventh hole.

Zada says the photograph was taken on Friday and posted on Saturday.

Since then, the photo has been shared almost 5,000 times on Facebook.



Photo Credit: Myakka Pines Golf Club
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<![CDATA[Miami-Dade Animal Services Adoptable Pets]]> Wed, 11 Mar 2015 15:56:56 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*133/Annie+A1683120.JPG Adopt a pet today at Miami-Dade Animal Services. Call 305-884-1101 for more information]]> <![CDATA[Pet of the Week: Jackson]]> Sun, 08 Mar 2015 13:16:49 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/jackson+pet+of+week.png

Our pet of the week is Jackson, a 6-year-old mix at Broward Animal Care who hopes to find a loving home.

Jackson is the perfect lap dog for a senior citizen. Heis fully trained and is housebroken.

Zoe'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 our All About Animals page.

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<![CDATA[Pet of the Week: Mickey]]> Sat, 07 Mar 2015 16:58:39 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/mickey+potw+030715.PNG

Our pet of the week is Mickey, a 2-year-old mixed breed dog who is looking for a loving home.

Mickey is a sweet, calm dog. He is great with children and gets along with other dogs and even cats. Now Saving Sage Animal Rescue is helping Mickey find a new family.

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

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

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<![CDATA[Chihuahua Found in Luggage in NYC]]> Fri, 06 Mar 2015 17:15:58 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Dog-Suitcase-LaGuardia.jpg

The TSA found an unlikely stowaway while checking baggage at LaGuardia Airport this week -- a passenger’s pet Chihuahua.

Security agents were screening luggage in the baggage check Tuesday when a hard black suitcase triggered an alarm, the agency said. When they opened the bag, agents were surprised to find the small brown and beige pup staring up at them.

After finding the dog, the TSA was able to track down the dog’s owner, who said the pup must have climbed in the suitcase while packing for a trip.

The woman later called her husband, who came to pick up the dog.

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<![CDATA[NJ Animal Hospital Evacuated After MRI Machine Explodes]]> Fri, 06 Mar 2015 18:13:29 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/dog+lead.jpg

Several construction workers were injured when an MRI machine they were disassembling in a New Jersey animal hospital exploded Friday morning, authorities say.

None of the 60 or so animals in the Oradell Animal Hospital in Paramus at the time of the explosion were hurt.

The workers were dismantling the machine to put in a new one, officials said. One of the workers was taken to the hospital in critical condition with lacerations and crushing-related injuries to his body; the two others had respiratory complaints and other, mostly minor injuries, police said.

It's not clear why the machine exploded. There was no fire after the initial explosion, but there was a small leak of helium, which is used as a cooling agent inside of the MRI machine. Hazardous materials crews responded to the scene as a precaution and assisted firefighters in stopping the leak.

Dr. Tony Palminteri, owner of the hospital, said that his workers got all of the animals out safely, but several were in critical condition because of earlier medical concerns and were going to be taken to other area animal hospitals for continued treatment as soon as possible.

The animals were taken to a store across the street, where more than two dozen animal hospital employees were working to give them shelter and treat any explosion-related or pre-existing injuries.

The part of the hospital had extensive damage but was deemed structurally safe, authorities said. It will remain closed, though, for an as yet undetermined length of time, authorities said.

In a statement posted to its Facebook page, Oradell Animal Hospital thanked its employees and partners.

"Each and every one of our employees worked together during the situation and they all get a great big thank you," the statement said "A huge thank you goes out to our partners: Bergen police and emergency units, Animal Control, HoHoKus Animal Hospital, Park Ridge Animal Hospital, Franklin Lakes Animal Hospital, Ashley Pochick from Merial and Mangiamo's Pizza on Route 17. We thank every one very, very much."
 



Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Pets and Toxins in the Yard]]> Fri, 06 Mar 2015 15:27:54 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/sabal+chase+kupkee+030615.jpg

March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month! Let’s take a look at some common toxins found in our yards and tool sheds.

Toxic Plants*

While toxic plants are worth mentioning, I’ve seen one confirmed (and very mild) case of plant toxicity in nearly twenty years of practice. Some of the most common culprits are kalanchoe, dieffenbachia, and sago palms. That being said, plants, especially native plants, are vital to the survival of our ecosystem. Buy your plants from a knowledgeable seller, and be sure to ask lots of questions. It also helps to plant some pet-safe grasses in a separate area and teach your pets it is okay to forage there. So called “cat grass” is widely available and safe for pets who like to graze. These usually consist of sprouted grains such as wheat, barley or oats and helped us to keep our younger dachshund away from our tomatoes and squash flowers!

Mushrooms

Perhaps the most common problem when identifying mushrooms is the frequency of toxic look-alikes. Many novice gardeners know just enough to get themselves into trouble, and inaccurate social media sites only add to the problem. The yellow parasol mushroom seems to be popping up a lot these days. While interesting, they are also poisonous, and can cause severe gastrointestinal issues if ingested by either pets or humans.

Mycologists are scientists who specialize in identifying mushrooms. The fact that there is an entire field devoted to this practice should tell us everything we need to know! In short, this is not something that should be done by hobbyists and Googlers. Assume all mushrooms are toxic and train your pets to stay away.

Rat Poison

While many pet owners are aware of this threat, rodenticides are usually placed in tucked away corners where they can easily be forgotten. No one wants to advertise their attempts to get rid of rats, and often baits are quietly placed without the knowledge of everyone in the household. Additionally, many pet owners have open contract with pest control companies that allow the company to place baits as they see fit. While many companies place rodenticides in pet-proof receptacles, old school rat poison is a block of bait laced with tasty, aromatic good stuff. Do not assume your dog has enough “common sense” to stay away.

Most rodenticides are anticoagulant, meaning they cause uncontrolled internal bleeding by preventing the clotting of blood. Dogs who have ingested rat poison can show clinical signs quickly, or they may may take several days to become ill. Signs include weakness, instability, nose bleeds, bruising, rectal bleeding, bloody stool and/or vomit, and labored breathing. If your dog begins to show these symptoms, get him to the vet immediately. If you don’t use rodenticides, bear in mind that you neighbors might. A rat or mouse that has ingested poison will be easy to catch if it ventures into your yard. Ingesting animals who have eaten rodenticide is a common source of secondary poisoning in both dogs and cats.

I see a surprising number of rodenticide poisonings during the holiday season. I suspect that as boxes are moved around, last year’s bait is revealed. Holidays are busy. Pets are not. They are likely the only ones to notice that tasty morsel that’s been hiding under a box since last year.

Animal rights advocates have long decried the use of anticoagulants in rodenticides. In addition to posing a danger to our pets, they subject the critters they target to a prolonged and painful death. Rodenticide manufacturers are trying to do a better job of making their baits less appealing to pets, and less cruel to their intended victims. But while this new generation of products claims to be less toxic to nontarget species, they kill by inducing a hypercalcemia, a condition which causes kidney failure, heart abnormalities, and central nervous system depression. If you think your dog has ingested rat poison, take the packaging with you to the vet. When the dust settles, consider switching to humane rodent traps that allow you to safely relocate unwelcome guests.

Snail and Slug Bait

Snail and slug bait contains metaldehyde, which primarily targets the central nervous system. These products are mixed with molasses, oats, apples, and other food products in order to lure their intended victims. Unfortunately, they can lure our pets as well. Dogs are more likely than cats to eat this product, and clinical signs of toxicity include, anxiety, nausea, diarrhea, excessive drooling and panting, elevated body temperature, muscle tremors, convulsions and seizures. Since there is no antidote, affected pets must be hospitalized immediately, and usually need round the clock supportive care until stabilized.

Strychnine

Strychnine is used in products targeted at gophers, jackrabbits, moles, and other burrowing rodents that are not often seen in South Florida. This cruel poison can begin to take effect in as little as ten minutes. Symptoms of strychnine poisoning include limb rigidity, muscle spasms, sky-high body temperatures, difficulty breathing, and violent, uncontrolled seizures. The effects on pets are so severe, that the product instructions are to bury it in the ground. There is no first aid for strychnine poisoning. Affected pets have very little time, and must be rushed to a vet for emergency care immediately.

By now you’re probably wondering, if this product is used underground, and targets animals that don’t live here, why are we even talking about it? Which brings me to the most cruel toxin of them all…

Malice

Strychnine is the number one culprit in malicious, intentional pet poisonings. Even in the genteel suburbs of Kendall, our clinic sees several malicious poisonings per year. This is just one of the many reasons I implore pet owners not to leave their pets outdoors unattended! Free roaming cats and outdoor dogs are the most common victims of these detestable acts. While vicious people have been known to target well-behaved pets, the common victims are pets whose attackers feel their actions are justifiable. If you cannot keep your pets indoors, install a cat fence to keep cats on your property. Seek immediate help for canine nuisance behaviors, such as escaping, digging, fighting, aggression, garbage dumping and barking.

If you suspect your pet has been poisoned, it is important to communicate this to your vet. As I’ve stated before, it is not our job to judge you. Honesty saves time, and a poisoned pet needs every possible second.

*Special thanks to Steve Woodmansee of Silent Natives Nursery for his help in researching this article.

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[Social Media Helps Broward Co. Dog Find Way Home]]> Fri, 06 Mar 2015 21:15:43 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/thornsby.jpg

A Broward County couple and their beloved 7-year-old rescue dog are reunited once again thanks to a little help from social media.

Sam and Ellen Stern, of Broward County, brought Thornsby, a rescue dog the couple adopted from the Hope Safe House in Thornsby, Wisconsin, on a visit to their daughter's Coral Springs home.

But when Thornsby didn't recognize his surroundings, he hopped a fence.

When the Stern's realized he was missing, they immediately contacted Coral Springs Police to report the dog missing.

Police immediately posted information on social media regarding the missing dog, and for five days, there were several public Thornsby sightings but the dog always managed to elude officials.

Finally, after days of looking, a resident who pays close attention to the Coral Springs Police Facebook page spotted Thornsby and called the Coral Springs non-emergency number to report his whereabouts.

From there, Thornsby was successfully captured and reunited with his family.

“The Coral Springs Police Humane Unit was simply incredible, they went above and beyond to assist us in finding Thornsby," the Stern's said. "Their concern and constant follow up with our family was reassuring.”

They say Thornsby, a Treeing Walker Coon Hound, is "gentle" but "easily frightened by strangers."



Photo Credit: Coral Springs Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Pelican Habitat Unveiled in Ft. Lauderdale]]> Fri, 06 Mar 2015 13:40:04 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/fhcdsssdf.jpg

The South Florida Wildlife Center is expanding its rehabilitation efforts of pelicans with a brand new and improved rehabilitation enclosure debuting on Friday.

The modernized pelican rehabilitation habitat will be the last stop at the SFWC for all pelican patients before being released back into the wild.

The height of the enclosure has been increased to about 16 feet to improve flight-conditioning for the birds. It also includes an expanded in-ground swimming pool to help provide rehabilitating pelicans with even more room to dive deep, encouraging their natural behavior in the wild.

Other creature comforts include high-perches and various enrichment items for stimulate movement, flight, rest and socialization, as well as promote much needed exercise and improve feature condition.

As a part of Friday's unveiling, the SFWC also released a group of newly rehabilitated pelicans back into the wild at John U. Loyd Beach.

The South Florida Wildlife Center admits more than 12,000 injured, orphaned or imperiled animals annually with the goal of returning each rehabilitated natural animal back into its natural habitat.
 

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<![CDATA[Miami-Dade Animal Services Adoptable Pets]]> Mon, 09 Mar 2015 08:38:27 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/NalaDogAdopt.jpg Adopt a pet today at Miami-Dade Animal Services. Call 305-884-1101 for more information]]> <![CDATA[Orphaned Manatee "Rae" Returned to Sea in Key Largo]]> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 12:43:38 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/manateerelease.jpg

After more than two years of care at Miami Seaquarium, an orphaned Manatee is being released back into the sea at the Calousa Campgrounds in Key Largo.

"Rae" was first rescued in the waters near Murray Government Center in Key Largo in 2012. Back then, Rae weighed 55 pounds and had been observed for several days without her mother.

Now, after successful rehabilitation at Miami Seaquarium, Rae is heading back out to sea at a very healthy 675 pounds.

As a part of the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership, Miami Seaquarium provides life-saving medical care to rescued manatees.

Manatees are an endangered species from both natural and man made causes of injury and death. Exposure to red tide, cold stress, and disease are all natural problems that affect the manatee population.

Human-caused threats include boat strikes, crushing by flood gates or locks, and becoming entangled in or ingesting fishing gear.

Anyone who notices a manatee in distress is urged to contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission Alert hot line at 888-404-FWCC.



Photo Credit: Adam Rice /NBC 6 South Florida]]>
<![CDATA[Low Cost Rabies Clinic in Oakland Park]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 12:16:56 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/95572844.jpg

This Saturday, Broward County's Animal Care and Adoption will host a rabies clinic from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Easterlin Park in Oakland Park.

Pet owners may come to the park, located at 1000 Northwest 38th Street and have their dog or cat vaccinated against rabies and receive a Broward County Rabies Registration tag.

The price for the tag and a one-year rabies vaccination will be $25 for dogs and cats that are spayed/neutered and $35 for pets that are not.

Microchips will also be available for $15.

The event is open to Broward County residents only. Dogs must be on leashes and cats must be kept in carriers. Debit/credit cards are preferred, but cash will also be accepted.

For more information, visit the Broward County Animal Care and Adoption website.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pet of the Week: Jasper]]> Sun, 01 Mar 2015 12:51:46 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/225*120/jasper+potw+030115.PNG

Our pet of the week is Jasper, a 1-year-old pit bull mix from Pooches in Pines.

Jasper is 50 pounds and is an active, sweet dog. He is full of energy and walks well on a leash. Jasper is friendly and loves people.

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

For more information on how to adopt Jasper 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.

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<![CDATA[Last Chance Dogs at Broward Animal Care]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 16:34:20 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*122/NINO1.jpg

Three dogs at Broward County Animal Care are considered "last call" and are in need of urgent adoption or rescue. The adoption fee for all of these dogs has been waived!

Nino is an 11-month-old American Staffordshire Terrier mix.  He's a phenomenal dog who finds himself the victim of circumstance.  When his owner moved and couldn’t take him with her, he was left to find a new forever home through Animal Care.  Nino is very nice and has been good with other dogs his entire time at Animal Care.  So good in fact that unfortunately he may have injured himself while playing.  Nino stopped putting weight on his right hind leg and appears to have a ligament tear in that leg.  He will need some TLC, but we know he is good with kids and cats, and will make a wonderful addition to any family.

Banks is a 2-year old American Staffordshire Terrier mix. You might be wondering if his ears ever go down. Well, they really don’t. He is always alert and his “bat ears” are ever so cute!  Banks is great with other dogs and will make a wonderful family pet.  He will also make a great exercise partner since he loves to play and go for long walks.  If you have an active family, then Banks could be the perfect life partner. 

Reggie is a 3-year old American Staffordshire Terrier mix. He is an amazing dog, highly social and with a wonderful personality.  He is an active guy, who loves to go for walks. Reggie is still looking for someone to love and we’re sure that if you take the time to get to know him, you will want to be the one that honors him with a forever home! 

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.

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<![CDATA[Preventing Pet Poisonings]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:51:30 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Prevent+Pet+Poisoning.jpg

March is Poison Awareness Month. In this series, Dr. Kupkee discusses some of the most common causes of toxicity in pets, and what you can do to prevent them.
Almost every day our clinic receives a call from a concerned pet parent asking which over-the-counter medications they can give to their pets. The short answer is, not many. Sadly, many pet owners assume that if a medication is safe for humans, especially children, then it must be safe for animals. Our pets’ bodies are different. They do not metabolize substances in the same way that we do. Let’s take a look at some of the most common culprits of medication toxicity.
Tylenol
The “pain reliever hospitals trust most” is perhaps the number one reason our pets are rushed to the emergency clinic. The active ingredient in Tylenol, acetaminophen, has been linked to liver failure in both dogs and cats. Cats are especially susceptible to acetaminophen poisoning as even a single, child-sized dose can be fatal. Many people assume that if it is safe for babies, it is safe for pets. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Ibuprofen and Naproxen
These common over-the-counter pain medicines can cause bleeding ulcers and irreversible kidney damage. If you suspect your pet is in pain, call your veterinarian for a veterinary approved alternative.
Aspirin
Back in the old days, veterinarians would prescribe baby aspirin or buffered aspirin for pets. We now know that this seemingly benign drug can cause ulcers, internal bleeding, liver damage, and kidney damage.
Adderall
Commonly used to treat ADHD in children, Adderall contains stimulants that cause hyperactivity, high fevers, elevated heart rates, tremors and seizures in our pets. It also contains a binder that many users report as having a sweet, citrus-like taste. It is entirely possible that this is why pets find it irresistible. Make sure children who are taking these medications understand that they can never be given to pets.
Sleep Aids
Medications such as Ambien and Clonazapam can lead to extreme agitation and elevated heart rates in pets. Because these pills are often kept on bedside tables, they are easy for pets to find and ingest.
Anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications
While certain medications can be used for pets in very small doses, most drugs of this type can cause anxiety, tremors, excessive vocalization and seizures. Do not ask “Dr.Google” for advice on dosing your pets, and do not attempt to medicate them for anxiety without a veterinarian’s supervision.
Decongestants - The Devil in the “D”-tails
Certain antihistamines, such as Benadryl and Claritin are perfectly safe for pets. However, certain varieties of these drugs contain decongestants such as pseudoephedrine, that can lead to dangerous heart palpitations. Be sure to check with your veterinarian regarding antihistamine doses and never, ever use a product containing decongestants. Helpful hint: an antihistamine that ends with “-D” probably contains a decongestant. A good rule of thumb when shopping for these drugs is “D stands for Don’t”. Never give Psuedophed intentionally, and keep those pretty red tablets out of Fluffy’s reach.
Cough and Cold Medicines
There are times when it is appropriate to treat a coughing pet with over-the-counter cough medicine intended for children. That being said, most of these drugs contain acetaminophen and/or pseudoephedrine. If your veterinarian recommends one of these products, have him/her write down exactly what you should purchase, including which active ingredients should be included. If you must ask the pharmacist to get it for you, chances are you are getting the wrong product, as defined by one containing pseudoephedrine. Stop, call your vet, and get clarification before buying anything. Remember, pharmacists are not trained in veterinary medicine, and it is not their job to be familiar with off-label, veterinary uses of human products. If you find yourself getting conflicting opinions, go with your vet’s. Your pets are our patients and our responsibility.
Anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications
While certain medications can be used for pets in very small doses, most drugs of this type can cause anxiety, tremors, excessive vocalization and seizures. Do not ask “Dr.Google” for advice on dosing your pets, and do not attempt to medicate them for anxiety without a veterinarian’s supervision.
Marijuana
While medicinal uses are being studied by veterinary researchers, marijuana remains one of the leading causes of drug-related toxicity. Pets who ingest marijuana usually do so in large doses, causing lethargy, respiratory depression, dangerously low heart rates, low blood pressure, coma, and seizures. They are often guilty of raiding the “special brownies”, and suffer from the toxic effects of chocolate as well.
If you think your pet has gotten into your stash, the most important thing you can do is to be honest with your veterinarian. Several years ago, I treated a teacup Yorkie who presented several times in the course of a week with dilated pupils, shallow breathing, and neurological symptoms. We tested her for hypoglycemia, liver problems, distemper, as well as a host of rare conditions that would have put Dr. House to shame. Every test came back normal. It wasn’t until I recommended a $3000 MRI with a veterinary neurologist that the teenage son sheepishly admitted to “doping” the dog in an attempt to stop her from barking. Your veterinarian is not there to judge you. Our job is to help your pet, and we cannot do that without knowing the facts. Be honest, and don’t attempt any “herbal remedies” at home.
Do you have a question for Dr. Kupkee? Click here to send him an emai.
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<![CDATA[Broward Humane Society Adoptable Pets - February 26, 2015]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 21:40:01 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/Guila+524797.jpg Broward Humane Society's Adoptable Pets for Feb. 26, 2015.]]> <![CDATA[Judge Allows Service Dog to Go to School with Disabled Child]]> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 16:06:11 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/WTVJ_000000017018782_1200x675_403221571575.jpg A disabled child will now be allowed to bring his service dog to school after a long legal battle. Laura Rodriguez reports.]]> <![CDATA[Watch As Adorable Baby Cheetahs Play Together]]> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 13:23:11 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Baby+Cheetas+Busch+Gardens.jpg

Two adorable baby cheetahs are being welcomed at Tampa's Busch Gardens!

The cubs, weighing about 12 pounds each, were born on Nov. 22 and were being treated by Busch Garden's animal care team.

The three-month old cheetahs were named Tendai and Thaboo. Tendai means thankful and Thabo signifies joy.

In a YouTube video posted by Busch Gardens, the cubs are seen rolling around and play fighting with each other.

Once they are old enough, the cubs will be put on public display as part of the Cheetah Run, Busch Gardens said.

These births are part of Busch Gardens’ participation in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan.

When the cubs are mature, they may become an important part in the park's cheetah breeding program to help boost the cheetah population.



Photo Credit: Busch Gardens
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<![CDATA[15 Dogs Find Forever Homes at Miami Heat Heatapalooza ]]> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 12:35:13 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/heatpuppies.jpg

Fifteen dogs from Miami-Dade County Animal Services found their forever homes at the 18th annual Miami Heat Heatapalooza family festival on Sunday.

The annual Miami Heat Family Festival is hosted by the Miami Heat Charitable Fund and brings together fans, players, coaches and celebrities for a day of family fun in an effort to raise money for local charities.

“This is the second year that The Miami Heat Charitable Fund invites Animal Services to participate in the festival and we are extremely grateful for the opportunity and for their support in our mission to bring adoptions into the community to help save the lives of shelter pets,” said Alex Muñoz, Director of Miami-Dade County Animal Services.”

As a part of its mission, Miami-Dade County Animal Services participates at community events like Heatapalooza, and offers programs including low cost spay/neuter services, vaccinations, preventative care medicine and other resources to pet owners in targeted and under-served communities.
 



Photo Credit: Miami-Dade Animal Services]]>
<![CDATA[Miami-Dade Animal Services Adoptable Pets]]> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 19:08:29 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*120/Puppy+A1680959.jpg Adopt a pet today at Miami-Dade Animal Services. Call 305-884-1101 for more information]]> <![CDATA[Featured Pet: Henley]]> Sun, 22 Feb 2015 16:13:24 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/henley+potw+022215.PNG

Our pet of the week is Henley, a 10-month-old Border Terrier mix at Broward Animal Care who is looking for a loving home.

Henley is a beautiful, friendly dog. She loves to go for walks and is great on a leash. Henley is a sweet pup who loves to give and receive affection.

Henley'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.

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<![CDATA[Pets of the Week: Lily & George]]> Sat, 21 Feb 2015 14:00:51 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/pet+of+week+labs.png

Our pets of the week are two cute Labrador mixes from Miami-Dade Animal Services. Lily and George, are two to three months old.

Lily and George are friendly and fun dogs who adores people.

All adoptions include spay or neuter surgery, vaccinations and microchipping. For more information on how to adopt Lily or George or any other animal, call 305-884-1101 or visit the Miami-Dade Animal Services website.

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

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<![CDATA[Manatees Keep Warm at FPL Plant in Riviera Beach]]> Fri, 20 Feb 2015 14:47:09 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/fpl+manatees+022015.PNG

Dozens of manatees gathered in the warm waters at Florida Power and Light's Riviera Beach plant Friday morning.

FPL said about 75 manatees huddled together in the warm-water outflow of their Clean Energy Center as temperatures dipped into the upper 30s. Manatees are cold-sensitive mammals who frequently seek out warmer waters when the temperature drops.

An FPL Manatee Education Center is currently being built next to the plant, located just north of West Palm Beach.



Photo Credit: Florida Power and Light]]>
<![CDATA[Broward Humane Society Adoptable Pets - Feb. 20, 2015]]> Fri, 20 Feb 2015 12:15:59 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/Baby+524488.jpg Broward Humane Society Adoptable Pets - Feb. 20, 2015

Photo Credit: Humane Society of Broward County]]>
<![CDATA[Broward Animal Care Featured Pets - Feb. 20, 2015]]> Fri, 20 Feb 2015 11:54:37 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*121/1728033+BLUEBERRY.jpg Broward Animal Care Featured Pets - Feb. 20, 2015

Photo Credit: Broward Animal Care and Adoption]]>