PSA: Sea Otters Need Our Help

Love by Otters

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Watching a gif of sea otters clapping such as the one above always brightens my mood, regardless of how I am feeling or what day of the week it is. However, since embarking on this journey to learn more about my favorite marine mammal in the world, if not the universe, I have realized that I, among others, have been taking these majestic and lovable sea otters for granted. Unknowingly, of course, but to the point that our generation may have never known what sea otters are.

Sea-otter-map Modern and historical sea otter ranges provided by WikiMedia

The Bad News

Sea otters were once coveted for more than their hand-holding abilities and small stature, but for their luxurious fur. Noted as having the densest hair of all marine mammals, the sea otter’s coat attracted poachers to hunt these endearing creatures for large-scale commercialization. According to Sean Carroll’s article in Nautilus

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The Perfect Holiday Gift: A Pawfect Pup

The past month my boyfriend has asked me the most popular question this season, “What would you like for Christmas?” Instantly, my mind shouted, “A puppy!”

On February 6, 2016, I came home to an open gate with my dog, Lily, missing. I frantically drove through neighborhoods until 3 a.m. without any luck of finding her. I posted hundreds of lost dog flyers and visited the pet shelter weekly. Unfortunately, I never found Lily, my heart was shattered. I had Lily for over 10 years and although I will never be able to replace her presence the idea of a new puppy in the family sounds like the beginning of a new chapter.

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My lost dog, Lily, maltese/ poodle mix, still missing. Photo Taken by Me.

So, should I ask for a puppy for Christmas? I am still unsure of whether to confirm my Christmas wish list, however I would say a puppy would be a wonderful holiday gift. If you are planning to get someone a puppy remember to ask if they are willing to bring in a new member into the family. I would suggest that if you do want to give a puppy as a gift, check out your local animal shelter for adoption. During this holiday season, local animal shelters offer great specials and affordable prices and each animal available for adoption is spayed or neutered, micro-chipped and evaluated by a veterinarian. If you are still looking into what to get your loved one for the holidays starting looking for the “pawfect” pup now! Your special loved one or your family member would love and cherish it.

Holiday Traveling: What to do with your Pets

As a pet owner, of both a dog and a cat, I can only imagine the trouble of wondering what to do with your pets while traveling for the holidays.

Whether you are leaving for a few days or over a month, you have three choices of what to do with your furry friends while you are away from home.

  • Your pets stay home and you get a pet sitter
  • Take your pet somewhere to be taken care of
  • Your pet joins you on your travel

If you are having trouble choosing what to do, recall the time length of your travel or your budget of how much you want to spend on your pets to help you decide.

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My cat, Luna, wondering if she’ll be traveling or at home for the holidays.

If you decide to let your pet stay home, get yourself a professional pet sitter or someone reliable to watch your pets. Cats and kittens are recommended to stay at home to avoid the uncertainty of a new area. At home your feline friend, along with your dog, will be in a familiar environment and will feel more comfortable, all they need is someone to check up on them daily. Perhaps buy them a new toy while you are gone to help keep them entertained. Whether you choose a pet sitter or a close friend you will know your pet is safe at home.

You can also choose to take your animal to another location to be looked after. You can once again get a professional pet sitter, ask a close friend or relative, or even take them to a pet hotel. (Sounds luxurious for them right?)  If you decide to choose a pet hotel to look after your pet, you will be at ease knowing these places have appropriate facilities and staff to take proper care of your animal. Some pet sitters will watch after your dog or cat in their own home, along with your relative or friend, however, if they have other animals living there it may cause your pet stress. Besides that you will feel secure leaving your pet with someone you trust and your pet will avoid a less chance of loneliness.

Your last option would be to take your pet with you for the trip. Although animals can travel by land, air, and sea, it is important to know the pet policies for each and highly recommended to only take them if you are leaving to one place for a long time. The easiest way to travel with your pet is by car in which you would need portable pet carriers and seat belts. Remember safety comes first and it is important to prevent your pet from roaming around because it can be a distraction to the driver. If you decide to go on an airplane with your pet, you must understand the airline’s pet policies, have your pet’s passport, rent rooms in pet-friendly hotels, and be up to date with all of your pet’s travel information such as vaccinations. You should also recognize that each state and country has different requirements when entering with your pet. In some cases it may require a long period of time before you can even bring your pet into the new country.

The holidays are approaching and if you are still wondering what to do with your pet try to put their interests first. Only you know your pet best and if they are obedient and well-trained than perhaps taking them with you would not be a bad idea. However, if your pet has a tough time being around others, perhaps it is better to leave them at home or with someone you trust. Try to see where your pet would be happiest and regardless of which choice you choose you might be surprised how well your pet adapts.

Happy holidays and best of luck!

Get Trump Supporters Off Your Lawn: Best Security Dogs

Americans are appalled to find that Donald Trump, a misogynistic, racist, narcissistic man was in the running to become the President of the United States. As of November 8, 2016, this man won Presidency over a more qualified woman, Hillary Clinton. Before Trump won elections he has influenced various impressionable people throughout the U.S. He has formed white supremacy groups, inspired bullying against people of color, and encouraged hate crimes against LGBT communities.

Because of this, there are civilians who are not only scared to leave their homes but are afraid of Trump supporters trespassing in attempt to create violent hate acts. Americans fear the rise of racism, sexism, bigotry, homophobia, and every other form of discrimination erupting across the nation. They question how they can stay safe from such a high volume of hatred.

Many have considered having security dogs for protection but have little to no knowledge towards what type of dog is best suited for safety. According to the American Kennel Club, an organization that advocates dogs’ well-being and protect canine rights, some of the best guard dogs include (not in this order):

  • Bullmastiff: Known to be “Brave, affectionate, and loyal”screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-12-26-16-am

Photo Featured on American Kennel Club: Taken by @jimmyjhoffa Via Twitter

  • Doberman Pinscher: Known to be “Alert, fearless, loyal, and highly trainable”screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-12-26-30-am
  1. Photo Featured on American Kennel Club: Taken by @DeeCo613 Via Twitter
  • German Shepherd: Known to be “Smart, confident, and courageous”scooby

Photo Submitted by Jose Rodriguez 

  • Bull Terrier: Known to be “Brave, tenacious, and clever”bull-terrier

Photo Featured on American Kennel Club: Taken by @tim_corun_tattoos Via Instagram

  • Rottweiler: Known to be “Confident guardian, loving, and loyal”screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-12-27-06-am

Photo Featured on American Kennel Club: Taken by @tawarikon Via Twitter

From the list above, I grew up having a German Shepherd, named Robby, and he was with my family for about 15 years. Robby was a great companion and a loyal dog. I can reassure you the characteristics of a German Shepherd qualify for a courageous guard dog that will not only enhance your levels of joy, but also improve your safety at home.

Visit your local animal shelter to adopt a security dog to get Trump supporters off your lawn! However, remember that Trump supporters don’t all carry the same negative traits; so let’s keep an open mind for the next four years. On the bright side, once you find your new companion at least your home will be protected from any future intruders.

Adopt Don’t Shop

Just last weekend, on Saturday, October 22, 2016, the Best Friends Animal Society hosted a charity walk named “Strut Your Mutt”, in the city of Los Angeles at Exposition Park. The dog walking event is not your average walk around the park; this fundraising festival is about saving animal lives. The festival included upbeat music, fun games, pet portraits, doggie yoga, and other activities for both pets and owners. Hundreds of people gathered together to promote awareness for homeless pets in the United States. Those participates helped raise money towards pets stuck in animal shelters and many pet-friendly organizations also partnered up with Best Friends Animal Society in order to raise awareness about the importance of adopting animals.

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Participants of Strut Your Mutt event in Los Angeles -Taken by Bestfriendsanimalsociety via Instagram

The Humane Society of the United States promotes that when finding a new addition to your family, it is important to adopt your new best friend from a local animal shelter instead of buying them from a pet store. According to the Humane Society of the United States, “It’s not just the right thing to do; adoption is a reward”. Three top reasons to adopt and not shop, is because you will be saving a life, it will cost you less, and it is one way to stand up against puppy mills.

Over 2 million dogs and cats are euthanized in the United States annually, due to the low amount of individuals who support adoption when seeking a pet. As more and more animals are brought into the shelters, there is less room available for them and have no choice but to be euthanized. Adopting from local animal shelters will open up availability to another pet in need. Adopting a pet will also cost less, since animals in shelters are already spayed or neutered, contain their primary vaccinations, and are micro chipped in case your pet gets lost. The Humane Society of the United States also endorses the fight against puppy mills, which are breeding facilities that house animals in poor conditions and improper medical care. Female animals usually have the worst treatment as they are forced to breed repeatedly for years; and when they are no longer producing they are abandoned or killed. By adopting from shelters, you are not supporting puppy mills and you are saving a life.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), is one of the largest humane societies in the United States that work to end animal abuse and contribute to the rescue of animals. If you still want to help even more, donations are always encouraged and greatly appreciated. Help promote the importance of the “adopt don’t shop” movement to your relatives and friends. As the holidays are approaching remember that pets are a long-lasting and life-fulfilling gift if you are still thinking of what to get for your loved ones.

Here Comes Howl-O-Ween

Just ten more days until one of the best holidays of the year, Halloween! I am almost certain you have your props, makeup, and costume ready to go for the night, but do not forget about your best friends. Your furry companions can also have the chance to celebrate by dressing up to go trick-or-treating in the neighborhood. Some local stores have adorable, yet affordable, pet costumes ranging from only $5 to $20.

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Star Wars Duo – Photo Taken By Chris Pirillo via Flickr

These mind blowing “Spooky Good Deals” can be found in Target’s pet section. You can totally be a cheerleader or sport team player for the night and have your pup dressed up as a “Rufferee”? Too cute, I know. Be the dynamic duo everyone wants to be.

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Target Pet Aisle-Photo Taken By Me

Besides Target, make sure to check out other pet stores such as Petco and PetSmart for a larger variety of pet costumes. Your pets can be anything from a dinosaur to Frankenstein. With so many charming costumes to choose from it is “impawsible” not to dress them up. So what are you waiting for? It’s almost Howl-O-Ween!