Pets in the news

Week of June 30–July 6

The dog from the Bush’s Baked Beans commercial has died
The dog who played “Duke” in the Bush’s Baked Beans commercials died this week. Duke, whose real name was Sam, was suffering from an aggressive cancer and had to be euthanized. In the commercials, “Duke” often made funny comments to his “owner,” Jay, about giving away the bean’s recipe secrets. Read more here.


29-pound cat found as a stray
A Good Samaritan found a huge cat wandering next to a busy street in Pasadena, California, last week. He was taken to the Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA, where he weighed in at 29 pounds. Despite being overweight and needing to be groomed, the cat, nicknamed “Chubbs,” appeared to have a loving personality. After investigating several bogus claims by people claiming he was their cat, Chubbs was adopted by a cat lover. He is now on a kitty diet.

Former President receives service dog
There’s a new family member at the George H. W. Bush home. His name is Sully (yes, named after the airline pilot who safely landed his plane in the Hudson River). Sully is a yellow Labrador Retriever, and he was trained by America’s Vet Dogs. Bush, who is a World War II veteran, tweeted that he “could not be more grateful.” Mr. Bush has been suffering from low blood pressure and fatigue. Since a vertebra break in 2015, he has been using a motorized scooter. The former president is now 94 years old.

Dog stays with lost toddler
A pit bull-boxer mix dog named Apollo has been credited with possibly saving his young owner’s life. Two-year-old Princeton Peake managed to “escape” from his locked home in Paw Paw, Michigan. His father panicked while searching for his son when he found the boy’s abandoned sippy cup. A search of the cornfields, woods and swamp surrounding the home found paw prints. Police followed the tracks and found Apollo by Princeton’s side. The boy had multiple scratches and bug bites but was not otherwise hurt and returned safely to his home.

Week of June 4–June 10

How many of his nine lives has he used?

Rubble in 1998
Rubble in 2018

A British cat named Rubble is now the oldest known living cat in the world, after celebrating his 30th birthday. Owner Michele Foster got him as a kitten in May 1998. Although Rubble has become a little grouchy in his old age, Michele said “He’s a lovely cat. Rubble suffers from high blood pressure so he needs regular medication.” The oldest cat ever on the record books is Creme Puff, who lived to be 38.

Female cats tend to be right-handed; male cats, left-handed
A study at the Queen’s University in Belfast has found that female cats are more likely to be right-handed (right-pawed?) than males. The study, comprised of 44 cats, was conducted in the feline’s homes, so they could be studied under their normal circumstances. Traits examined included reaching for food, walking down stairs, and stepping over objects, among others. The research was published in the journal Animal Behavior.

Dogs can be trained to alert owners when low blood sugar occurs
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can be fatal if left untreated. It’s especially a danger for diabetics. Now, one man is training dogs to alert their owners if their blood sugar levels start dropping. Read the story HERE

Week of May 27–June 2

If you have a pet bird, you need to be aware of these three dangers!
Read about them here.

Texas woman treated for rabies exposure after her cat bites her
A San Marcos, Texas, woman and her dog were bit by their cat, which subsequently tested positive for rabies. The cat died the same day, according to San Marcos officials. The woman is undergoing post-exposure treatment, and the dog has begun a 90-day quarantine period at a local veterinary clinic. The cat lived indoors but also went outdoors. It tested positive for a strain of rabies carried by bats.

The Newest Royal Dog
The newest royal dog isn’t a Corgi; he’s a rescue Beagle from the U.S. His name is Guy. Read about him here.

Most Popular Dog Breeds – Where does yours rank?
For the fifth year in a row, Labrador Retrievers are the number one dog breed in the U.S. The American Kennel Club has released its list of popular dog breeds, based on the number of registration applications it receives. One big surprise: The French Bulldog is now number four. Read more here.

Week of May 7–May 13

Missing dog found at home of Amazon delivery man
A young miniature Schnauzer that was missing from her home in England has been found at the residence of an Amazon delivery man. Minutes after the self-employed driver had dropped off a package at the home of Richard Guttfield, he realized his dog, Wilma, was missing. Mr. Guttfield tried to contact someone at Amazon to ask for their help in getting Wilma back, but “in desperation” he emailed Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Shortly after, the driver was tracked down by Amazon and Wilma was found at the driver’s home. A spokesman said the driver is no longer employed by Amazon, and the police are investigating the matter.

United Airlines bans several dog and cat breeds from flying
Following the death of a French Bulldog on a United Airlines flight, the airline has announced that it will no longer allow over 40 breeds of dogs and cats to fly in the cargo hold “out of concern for adverse health risks.” The list includes breeds who are brachycephalic, meaning they have a shortened snout, which can make it more difficult for them to breathe in some situations. For a complete list of the banned breeds from PetSafe, the United Airlines pet page, click here.

Amazon launches its own dog food brand
Online shopping giant Amazon has started promoting Wag, its new dog kibble, to Prime customers. Advertised as grain-free, the brand promises “real chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, or salmon” (depending on the variety). A five-pound bag sells for $12.99, 30 pounds for $44.99. They also offer a puppy food in a five-pound bag, but the bigger puppy variety is 15 pounds for $26.99. The company plans to announce other Wag products in the future.

Week of April 30–May 7

Michigan man amputates his dog’s leg


Charges are being sought against a Michigan man who admitted he cut off one of the hind legs from his dog. He claimed the dog, Blackie, was injured after a dog fight, and that his dog felt “relieved” after the amputation. The dog’s owner, Charles Wofford, said he applied dental numbing cream and used a clean steak knife to do the surgery himself because he couldn’t afford to pay for veterinary care. The Michigan Humane Society is caring for the dog after receiving a tip from a concerned citizen. Blackie has since had surgery and his prognosis is good, according to a humane society spokesperson. Click here for the story and video. (Warning: graphic content.)

Puppies used as drug mules
A Colombian veterinarian was charged in the U.S. this week with implanting bags of heroin into puppies, using them as drug couriers. It is thought the dogs were flown to New York City from Colombia on commercial flights. The drugs were then cut out of the puppies. Investigators believe the dogs would have died in the process, but it is not known how many were involved. Read the story here.

Man swims across canal to rescue cat stuck on pole
How or why a cat was stranded atop a pole in a canal is unknown. But a good-hearted cat Samaritan rescued the frantic feline. Here’s a good news video (for a change!).

Dog rescued from car with temps almost double that of outside
Police in Lakewood, Colorado, were alerted by a concerned citizen to a dog barking in a locked car. Although the outside temperature was only 77 degrees, s temperature sensing gun showed the temperature inside the car to be 134 degrees! The dog was, fortunately, okay, but the police used the incident to remind everyone that pleasant spring temperatures can be almost doubled inside a car. 

Cat on the run in JFK Airport finally captured
Last week, Pepper the cat was supposed to board a flight to China with her owner. But just as they were preparing to get on board, Pepper escaped her carrier and ran away. She couldn’t be found in time for the flight, and her owner was devastated to leave her behind. Pepper was spotted in the terminal several times over the past week, but eluded any attempts to catch her. Finally, however, after more than a week on the loose, Pepper was captured: She recognized the voice of a friend of the owner and went to her, where she was quickly placed in a crate. The friend said she will find a way to reunite Pepper and her owner.

Disease hits dogs across Australia; Food is the common link
Dozens of dogs in Australia have been diagnosed with megaesophagus, a debilitating disease that makes it difficult for them to swallow. In all cases, the dogs had been given a dog food called Advance Dermacare. First reports of the disease came when nine police dogs became ill; one died. Since then, 74 dogs have been diagnosed, and all were fed the same food. Eight dogs have been euthanized. The food has been recalled, but researchers at Melbourne University have said it could be months before a definitive link is made between the rare disease and the food.

Week of April 22–April 29

Take your dog to work day … every day
Talk about lucky dogs! Employees at the headquarters of Seattle-based Amazon can share their workspace with their dogs. Approximately 6,000(!) lucky dogs go to work with their people every day. Read more here.

Cat gets new home instead of euthanasia
In Raleigh, North Carolina, a 7-year-old cat named Toby was given to another family because they didn’t want him anymore. His new family, who lived 12 miles away, happily took him home but Toby found his way back to his original home. Rather than welcoming him back, his original family took him to an animal shelter and asked that he be euthanized. Lucky for Toby, that didn’t happen. He now has a new home, and his family says he is getting along well with the other two cats in the household. For more on this story, click here.

Last Royal Corgi dies
Willow, the last of Queen Elizabeth’s Corgis, was put down this week at age 14, having suffered from cancer. She was the 14th generation in a line of Pembroke Welsh Corgis bred by the queen, that started in 1947 with her first Corgi named Susan. The queen has often been photographed with her dogs. Princess Diana once referred to the dogs as a “moving carpet” of Corgis that accompanied her royal highness. In the past few years, however, the queen has stopped breeding her dogs, apparently because “she didn’t want to leave any young dog behind” after her death. This was according to Monty Roberts, a horse trainer who has advised Queen Elizabeth, as told to Vanity Fair magazine in 2015.