The Latest Scoop on Pets

A potpourri of pet-related news and activities.

Help Feed Pets in Need

The Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV) has a program called the Pet Pantry that helps pet parents who are facing tough times get assistance in feeding their pets. It’s said that the lifetime cost of a cat is $21,700 and a dog is $25,620, which includes estimated veterinary costs. During the past year, 946 animals were surrendered to the HSSV and in 21 percent of the cases, the animal was given up for financial reasons.

If you’d like to donate to the Pet Pantry, or if you are in need of assistance, visit the Pet Pantry website.

Inside a Dog’s Mind

Ever wonder what your dog is thinking? Researchers at Emory University in Atlanta recently conducted a study using brain imaging to uncover what’s on Fido’s mind. The scientists trained two different dogs to sit still in a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine while they ran scans on their brain activity while watching humans make gestures.

I find it incredible that the dogs were able to sit still for the scan! But neuroscientist Gregory Berns was convinced dogs could be trained to do this after hearing about Navy SEAL dogs who helped capture Osama Bin Laden. The first experiment showed that dogs pay very close attention to human gestures in an attempt to get a reward—which gives scientific confirmation to what most dog parents already know. The scientists plan to conduct more experiments to learn the inner-workings of man's best friend.

To learn more about this research project, watch this video.

Walk Your Tail Off

It’s not too early to register for the annual “Walk Your Tail Off for Homeless Pets” walk-a-thon on Sunday, June 3 at Los Gatos Creek Park in Los Gatos. In addition to the walk, there will be a demonstration from the Disc Dogs of the Golden Gate, raffle drawings for prizes, a barbecue lunch for walk participants and contests, including:

  • Best Canine Kisser
  • Happiest Tail Wag
  • Silliest or Best Pet Trick
  • Most Unusual Looking Dog.

This is the 17th year for this fundraiser that benefits the Nike Animal Rescue Foundation (NARF). Visit the NARF website for more details and to register.

Pet of the Week

Meet Mandy, a sweet 6-year-old tabby and domestic shorthair mix. She’s a quiet gal with a sweet demeanor who is looking for her forever home. Her hobbies include playing with string toys and purring contentedly on your lap.

If Mandy sounds like the feline for you, visit her at the Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority (SVACA) in Santa Clara. For more information about Mandy and other cats available for adoption, visit the SVACA website.

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