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Cats

What's wrong with these dogs?

What's wrong with these dogs?

Posted 6 May 2015   by Amy         Permalink | 1 Comment

Tags: dogs, cats, companion animals, adopt, Quatro Patinhas, video

There's something different about the dogs and cats in this pet shop. Shoppers didn't spot the difference. Would you?

What's wrong with these dogs and cats? Not a thing :) When an organisation in Brazil -- Quatro Patinhas -- swapped out animals in pet shop windows with rescues, buyers still fell in love with them as hard and fast as they would've a purebred puppy. And I think I can safely say that the feeling was mutual :)

I love the tag line on this video -- better than buying a life is saving one. If you'd like more people to hear this beautiful message, please share this video. And make the pledge today to be a lifesaver and always adopt your pets.

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P.S. Have you seen our latest ad exposing the truth about puppy factories in Australia on national TV? Click here to watch it.

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A WIN for cats and dogs :)

A WIN for cats and dogs :)

Posted 3 December 2014   by Nelliepotatoes         Permalink | 2 Comments

Tags: puppy factories, companion animals, adopt, election, politics, Victoria, pet shops, dogs, cats, Nellie

Normally when there's talk about politics I'm all like:

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But I heard some news that made me go like:

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Last weekend was the state election in Victoria. And the new Labor government has promised that they will make sure that NO cats and dogs are sold in pet shops UNLESS they're from an animal rescue group :) 

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So not only will more animals like me get a second chance and a comfy bed and walks and cuddles, but it means that people can be sure that their new friend doesn't come from a horrible puppy factory. (Yup, it's true. Most pet shop puppies come from puppy factories :( See for yourself.)

I reckon this should be the rule in ALL Australia don't you? Maybe you could write to your local politics person and ask them to do the same in your state. I would but ... I'm a dog.

The best news is you don't have to wait for any rules to be changed to be a friend to dogs and cats and help stop puppy factories. By pledging to always adopt, rather than buying from a pet shop, you will be a hero for someone just like me :)

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Let's celebrate cats! And gifs! And cat gifs!

Let's celebrate cats! And gifs! And cat gifs!

Posted 8 August 2013   by Amy         Permalink | 14 Comments

Tags: cats, adopt, pet overpopulation, World Cat Day

Happy World Cat Day! We owe a lot to cats. Did you know that if it weren't for cats, the internet would be filled with nothing but library catalogues and ads for suspicious medications?

To celebrate cats, (and the divine internet), I've collected my favourite cat gifs OF ALL TIME (i.e. that I've seen so far). And they just so happen to show all the reasons I respect and admire cats:

Cats always get what they want:

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They secretly love dogs:

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They can twerk:

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Cats aren't afraid of anything:

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(except bananas):

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(and balloons):

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(ok, they're afraid of EVERYTHING):

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They are amazing gymnasts:

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They think with their heads:

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They know how to chill:

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And lastly, because LOOK AT THAT FACE:

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Want to do your bit for cats this World Cat Day? The best thing you can do for cats is promise to always adopt rather than buying from a pet store or breeder. Why? Because despite how clearly smart and ridiculously adorable they are, thousands of cats are surrendered to shelters every year, and many of them will end up being put down. In fact, 23 cats and dogs are killed every hour. You can help prevent this by clicking here and making the pledge to always adopt.

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Good at doing his hair -- Bad at looking after animals.

Good at doing his hair -- Bad at looking after animals.

Posted 4 July 2013   by Amy         Permalink | 8 Comments

Tags: companion animals, celebrity, cats, monkeys, snakes, exotic animals

I'm just as guilty of humming along to Justin Bieber's 'Baby' as the next person, but I am fed up with hearing about this guy's complete disregard for the proper care of companion animals.

If you happen to not be one of Bieber’s nine million followers on Instagram, then you might have missed the brief appearances of several unlucky animals amongst the incessant stream of shirtless selfies. So here’s an overview:

Johnson

250-johnson.jpg

This is Johnson. He is a baby boa constrictor. Back in 2011, he was Bieber’s 'pet' for all of three months before the singer seemingly got bored and auctioned little Johnson off for charity. Interestingly, charitybuzz, who were responsible for the auction, added the disclaimer that "keeping a pet snake is a long-term responsibility." Hmm, clearly this does not apply to floppy haired pop stars.

Johnson was lucky enough to be 'won' by an animal lover who was shocked that Bieber was auctioning off the baby boa. The winning bidder has since donated Johnson to the Reptile and Amphibian Discovery Zoo in Minnesota. "I wanted to make sure the snake would be well taken care of for the rest of his life," he explains.

Pac

250-pac.jpg

This is Pac. He was Justin's hamster. Bieber's sparkly-eyed love for Pac lasted approximately two months. Then, Bieber gave Pac away to a random screaming fan after a concert in Atlanta. The California Hamster Association (CHA) slammed Bieber for this casual handover. "Hamsters are fragile creatures that often succumb quickly to illness and death, especially when faced with sudden environmental change," they said.Three months later, Pac was dead. May he rest in peace.


Mally

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This is Mally. Some banana-brain thought it would be a good idea to give this baby capuchin to Biebs as a gift for his birthday in March this year. Monkeys are wild animals and should not be kept as pets, particularly not by a travelling celebrity with clearly very little interest in the welfare of animals.

Mally was with Biebs for a whole month (notice a trend here?) before he was abandoned in Germany as Justin was unable to provide the right paperwork to get him on the plane. Bieber was given six weeks to come up with the right paperwork.

Meanwhile, Mally was kept in isolation in a German animal shelter, alone and only 14 weeks old. Poor Mally. Monkeys are naturally very social animals and baby capuchins will normally stay by their mother’s side until they are a year old.

Bieber continued with his tour and the deadline to collect Mally passed by. Finally Mally was put into a German wildlife park where he now lives happily with other monkeys.

(Interestingly, Bieber captioned this picture of Mally "He's like a human." Yea. Good one Biebs. Feeney49 gets it.)

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[NOTE: This comment seems to have been removed.]

Tuts

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This is Tuts. (Is anybody else getting exhausted by this list?) She is an adorable ginger Persian kitty. She has been in the 'care' of arguably the world's worst pet owner for a few weeks now. Justin picked her up within what seemed like minutes of Mally being seized by the German wildlife park -- shorter than the time in-between posting half naked selfies on his Instagram.

Tuts looks a little worried doesn’t she? And it’s no wonder, knowing Bieber’s history with companion animals. And also having a picture of herself captioned "Time to die." Hopefully Tuts will have a fate better than Pac’s :(

Mally? Or Mally II?

The latest is that Bieber held up a plane for eight hours in Miami because he wanted to go pick up his monkey from Palm Beach. Can you beliebe it? Whether this is a new monkey, or if somehow Mally has miraculously made it to Florida, my reaction is the same:

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This dude is not even responsible enough to mind his temper, let alone an animal of any kind. I sure hope he hasn’t taken Mally away from his furry friends at the wildlife park.

What advice would you like to give to Biebs about taking care of companion animals? (P.S. He’s only a tweet away: twitter.com/justinbieber).

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Desexing saves lives!

Desexing saves lives!

Posted 1 July 2013   by Amy         Permalink | Be the first to comment

Tags: dogs, cats, overpopulation, desexing, National Desexing Month, companion animals

'Don't Litter Australia' is the slogan of this year's National Desexing Month. Isn't it sad that dogs and cats are so often discarded like rubbish because they are unable to be rehomed? Around 200,000 cats and dogs are put down in Australia every year. That's roughly 23 animals put down every hour of every day.

Did you know that one female cat and her offspring can produce 420,000 cats in just seven years? There are not enough crazy cat ladies in the world for that many cats. No wonder dog and cat overpopulation is a big issue.

One of the best ways to do your bit to help prevent this problem is to make sure your furry family members are desexed. And if you haven't already, then this month is the time to do it!

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July is National Desexing Month, organised by National Desexing Network. Over 100 vets across the country will be offering cheap desexing this month.

If you have already had your companion animal desexed, then give yourself a treat. You are helping to save lives. What’s more, your dog or cat is likely to live a longer and happier life thanks to you. Desexing helps to reduce the risk of certain cancers and other diseases. Desexed animals are also likely to be more affectionate and become better companions. So give your dog or cat a treat too, just for being so cute.

National Desexing Month is also an opportunity to spread the word about how desexing can help animals. Do you have a friend, relative or neighbour who has not had their companion animal desexed? Maybe they are not aware of the importance of desexing animals or are concerned about the cost. Why not direct them to www.ndn.org.au where they can learn about the benefits and apply for cheaper desexing this month? Or head here to share the message on social media.

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Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year!

Posted 10 February 2013   by Anthony         Permalink | 6 Comments

Tags: ducks, hunting, sharks, shark fin soup, cats, adoption

The Chinese New Year has arrived with a bang! It's now the Year of the Snake, and next year will be Year of the Horse. But what about all the animals who don't get their own "year"? Here's three suggestions for other animals who totally deserve to have their own "year" too. See if your fave made the grade!

Cats

Somehow, cats don't already have their own year! Try explaining THAT to this cat who acts as a guide to a blind dog in Wales!

Blind dog and guide cat

You can show some love for cats by taking the pledge to always adopt, rather than buy when you're looking to welcome a cat into your family. With tens of thousands of cats killed in Australia every year because there just aren't enough homes for them - your personal pledge is a promise to save a life.

Ducks

Duck Next week will see duck hunting season start in South Australia. The blood will also flow in this cruel "sport" in Tasmania and Victoria starting in March. (WA, Qld and NSW - you're cool, duck hunting is banned in your states.) You can stick up for ducks in two powerful ways. Firstly, you can send a message to state pollies letting them know you're against duck hunting. And secondly, if you're in Victoria, you can join other volunteers from the Coalition Against Duck Shooting on a duck rescue team. With your help, hopefully soon we'll have a Year of the Duck, and not a Year of Duck Hunting!

Sharks

I've heard of Shark Week - but when are we going to get a Shark Year?! These majestic sea animals have been around since dinosaurs were stomping about, but now some species are at risk of total extinction. One of the major reasons for this alarming fact is the practice of shark-finning. The photo here is of 18,000 (!!) shark fins drying on a roof top in Hong Kong.

Shark fins on roof

The need to do something about this has already been recognised in some countries. For example, Costa Rica has totally banned the mutilation in its waters. You can raise awareness of shark-finning amongst your buds by getting active on Facebook and Twitter. Sharks have been around for millions of years - don't let them die out on our watch!

Why not make 2013 the Year of Animals in general? Celebrate them every day by choosing not to eat them! Find out how easy it is here - and prepare to have the best year of your life!

Which animals do you think deserve their own year??

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5 animals ready to help Rudolph this Xmas.

5 animals ready to help Rudolph this Xmas.

Posted 16 December 2012   by Anthony         Permalink | 2 Comments

Tags: Christmas, cats, birds, dogs, amazing

Every year Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer has the stress-filled job of guiding Santa's sleigh to make sure kids everywhere get their pressies. He's about due for a break don't you think? So here are five animals who could fill in for him with the amazing ability to find their way, no matter where they are.

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1. Howie the cat. Howie's Adelaide family left him with caretakers on the Gold Coast when they went travelling. Unfortunately, Howie made a break for it and it was feared that he would never be seen again. Fast forward a year and there's Howie sitting on the doorstep ... in Adelaide. The persistent Persian had travelled over 1500 kms to get home. And didn't use Google Maps once!

turtle-loggerhead.jpg 2. Loggerhead turtles. As well as having a great name, these turtles also have a great sense of direction. After birth, these guys hit the water and start an epic journey that takes them around the ocean. When they are ready to have their own babies, females return to the same beach where they were born more than 20 years earlier! Think of that next time you forget where you put your keys five minutes ago :P
dog-blind-dog.jpg 3. Chica the border collie. A dog playing fetch is pretty cool, but a blind dog playing fetch?? That's awesome. Chica had both eyes surgically removed when she was a pup, but still has the remarkable ability to chase a ball and return it. Check her out in action ...

cat-ginger.jpg 4. Misele the cat. Determined to help her human-dad when he was admitted to hospital, Misele crossed fields, forests and highways to visit him in hospital. Not only did she find the hospital he was in, she even found the right room! If laughter is the best medicine, then cats would have to be a close second.
bird-parakeet.jpg 5. Piko-chan the lazy parakeet. When Piko-chan got lost one day, rather than trying to find his own way home, he simply squawked out his full address and got his rescuers to drop him off. I like the way you think, Piko-chan! The brainy bird had been taught how to recite his home address in case an emergency like this ever happened.

There you have it - five animals who would be ready to step up so Rudolph can take a break. OK, maybe four - Piko-chan might not be the greatest help in the world. But I bet you could teach him swear words, and that would definitely help create holiday cheer over Xmas lunch!

This Christmas, you can give animals the best present of all - by extending peace and goodwill to ALL, and making your meals cruelty-free. Find out more at the Unleashed Pardon a Pig page. There's even some cool e-cards there you can send out to your friends and family!

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Lady Gaga: un-fur-givable!

Lady Gaga: un-fur-givable!

Posted 20 August 2012   by Anthony         Permalink | 13 Comments

Tags: fur, Lady Gaga, dogs, cats, celebrity

Now, I'm a massive fan of Lady Gaga's music,[1] and I think that she's got a lot of important things to say.[2] But jeez she makes some shocking decisions when it comes to what she wears. Her latest monster balls-up is wearing fur. As if that's not bad enough - you should hear her bumbling justification for it.

You might remember a couple of Gaga's other fashion crimes. Her meat bikini (blergh-kini?) springs to mind immediately. This time she's draped herself in a fur coat in the middle of the northern summer. She defended herself by saying that while normal people would "see a carcass, I see a museum piece de resistance". She goes on to describe it as an "art piece". Really? It looks more like the carpet a mate of mine used to have in the back of his station wagon.

Look closely at the photo - see the adorable little dog there? If I was that dog ... I'd be freakin' out! After all, millions of dogs are killed each year for their fur. I wonder whether Lady Gaga would have looked at the coat differently if it had been made out of that little guy. A recent segment on Today Tonight showed that fur products being sold here in Australia contain dog and cat fur, even though it's illegal to import.

To make fur clothes, animals are beaten, anally electrocuted, drowned, or poisoned. Some are even skinned alive! When she was criticised for wearing fur, Lady Gaga responded by saying, "I do not support violent, abusive campaigns for ANY CAUSE". It's just a bummer that she DOES seem fine with violence and abuse against animals, I guess.

For a singer with so many fans, hopefully one day Lady Gaga will figure out that fur is never in fashion.


[1] That's not true.
[2] Neither is that.

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THIS is how to save lives!

THIS is how to save lives!

Posted 2 July 2012   by Anthony         Permalink | 5 Comments

Tags: dogs, cats, shelter, desexing, pet overpopulation

Did you know that every hour across Australia, 23 dogs and cats are killed in shelters and pounds? How awful is that?? These poor animals have done nothing wrong, it's just that there aren't enough homes out there for them. To help stop this relentless death toll, July is National Desexing Month.

Check out all the benefits that desexing provides for dogs and cats:
1) less "unwanted" animals winding up in shelters where they may be killed if not quickly adopted.
2) no more leg-humping when guests come round. Aaawkward.
3) less tendency to wander and fight.
4) lower chance of certain types of cancer - which means a higher chance of plenty more years worth of fun together!

For all these reasons, the National Desexing Network (NDN) (organised by the Animal Welfare League of QLD) has teamed up with vets around the country to offer discounts and deals to families who want to help. So if your family (or someone you know) has a cat or dog that should be desexed, let them know that this is the month to do something about it.
Animals Australia is pleased to have provided sponsorship to assist promotion of this initiative.

The other way you can help to save a life is if your fambam is considering welcoming a dog or cat into your lives - adopt from a shelter, rather than buying. Bieber and Hannah Montana can't do it all themselves, you know! There's even an app to help hook you up with a shelter dog or cat!

PS. If you're lucky enough to be in Sydney in July, why not make some time to visit the My Human Family photography exhibition at Pine Street Gallery. The exhibition has photos and stories of rescued or adopted dogs which are guaranteed to brighten your day. Yep - guaranteed!

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Family Guy (or girl)!

Family Guy (or girl)!

Posted 14 May 2012   by Anthony         Permalink | 1 Comment

Tags: dogs, cats, shelter, family, wish you had a dog instead of a sibling

Angus and Julia Stone - they're family.
Joel and Benji Madden - they're family.
Probably all the guys in One Direction? I dunno, they all kind of look the same to me.

Whatever! The point is -- today is International Day of Families! It's a day to do something nice for your fambam. Pluck mum a flower from the neighbour's yard. Ask dad for one of his hilarious jokes. Don't give your bro a hard time for picking his nose -- if he enjoys doing it, let him do it, just for today. And most importantly - do something nice for the animal members of your family too!

You'd know as well as anyone that your companion animals are valued members of the family. Who's the first to meet you at the door after school? I bet it's the dog, right? And who better than kitty to sit down and watch The Voice with. Our four-legged friends even seem to know when we're in a good mood or when we're not feeling so great, and often pick up on it quicker than our mates!

So this year, for International Day of Families, try to do something so the furry family members (I don't mean your brother) know they really are part of the family. Now, I can hear some of you already - "but it's Tuesday man, I need to save my brain for the rest of the week". So here's some ideas I prepared earlier:

TWO walks in a day!
A new chew toy, with special cruelty-free treats inside.
Plenty of pats and loads of attention.
And trust me on this one ... tell them you love them.

Here's my special mate Gus moments after being told I love him, and moments before launching an attack on my leg.

When the day comes that cats rule this world (and it will happen), maybe they'll think back to how cool you were to them today, and they'll go easy on you. Maybe. Who knows what cats are thinking?

How are you going to spoil your furry family members today? Leave a comment.

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Angry Birds? More like 'Happy Cats'!

Angry Birds? More like 'Happy Cats'!

Posted 6 May 2012   by Anthony         Permalink | 1 Comment

Tags: dogs, cats, pet overpopulation, shelter, apps, smartphones

I've got an app that makes my phone a flashlight (doesn't work), and one that promises to give me ripped abs (also doesn't work). But finally I found something useful! PetRescue has released an app for iPhones that matches shelter dogs and cats with potential new families. It couldn't come a moment too soon either, with over 200,000 cats and dogs being put down in shelters around Australia every year ... simply because they couldn't be rehomed.

This sensational new app was developed by two NSW based programmers -- Brandon Cowan and Wei Zheng. The impressive thing is that Brandon is just 18 years old! These two guns developed the app entirely free of charge for PetRescue and now you can grab it at the bargain price of ... absolutely nothing! That's right; it's free for you to download. What a couple of legends Brandon and Wei are -- donating their time and energy for our lovable furry friends.

This app really makes my tail wag. I'd encourage any family to adopt rather than buy, so if you, your family or anyone you know is considering it, then make sure they know about this app.

And while we're on the topic - do you know of any other cool apps to help animals? If you've got one in mind, why not talk it up with a comment below!

Right ... time to go work on my abs.

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Cruelty: A Fashion Statement We Can Live Without

Cruelty: A Fashion Statement We Can Live Without

Posted 21 September 2011   by JessB         Permalink | 7 Comments

Tags: fur, fashion, dogs, cats, rabbits, advertising

I don't know about you, but the idea of having a dead animal draped around my shoulders to keep warm, or worse, to make a 'fashion statement', makes me want to recoil in disgust, or more to the point: puke!

On a recent shopping trip I happened to spot a number of rabbit fur vests in shop windows--at least I think they were rabbit fur . But with dog and cat fur often deliberately mislabelled and imported as 'rabbit', you can never be sure.

What is up with this resurgence of fur?! At the recent Melbourne Spring Fashion Week there were a disturbing number of attendees in the crowd wearing this season's "on-trend" of brightly coloured fur.

Even Aussie expat, supermodel Jess Hart has been seen walking around the streets of New York in a fur coat that I'm sure looked much better on the animal it was taken from.

And to top it all off, the latest episode of Australia's Next Top Model again featured fur to the disgust of viewers and even the show's own judges. ANTM copped it last year for the same tasteless faux pas so they have no excuse for not using faux fur this time around.

We know there is nothing fashionable about the cruel slaughter of animals for fur. Fur farms, which often use killing methods such as drowning, anal electrocution and skinning alive are kept in business through the demand for fur coats, gloves, hats, fur trimming at the cost of thousands of animals' lives.

What do you think -- How can we communicate to these "fashionistas" that animals need their fur on their own backs, not ours? With so many cosy cruelty-free outfits at our fingertips, haven't we evolved past killing animals for coats?!

(Isn't this ad by Animal Friends Croatia great! We found it via Osocio.org)

ps. Have you made the Pledge to Wear Your Own Skin yet?

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The Unleashed Summer Survival Guide!
Posted By Jane

The Unleashed Summer Survival Guide!

Posted 15 December 2010   by         Permalink | 2 Comments

Tags: Summer, pets, Christmas, dogs, cats, wildlife

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It took its sweet time but summer is finally here! Sun, surf, cricket on the beach, festive get togethers and of course, hot hot hot weather!

If you saw that picture of a koala cooling down during a heatwave in Adelaide a few years back, you'll know how important it is to keep cool, and help our pets and surrounding wildlife keep cool too!

So may I introduce the ultimate 10 point Unleashed Summer Survival Guide!

  1. lorikeets_drinking-water.jpg&x=250&y=167Be Water Wise! Always leave water out for your own animals as well as the sweltering wildlife, and top it up throughout the day (you'll thank me when you see magpies dunking their heads in the waterbowl!) If you have a pool make sure you cover that when you're not home. They are just so inviting at this time of year that animals may decide they wanna have a pool party, which can lead to trouble when they can't get out! (PS If you have a dog, a shell paddle pool is the best Christmas present you can buy!)
  2. Never Ever Leave an Animal in the Car! Not even for 30 seconds. Even on cloudy days, the temperature inside the car will increase very quickly, even with the window down or the air conditioning on. Pets are at severe risk of heat exhaustion and death in this situation, so it's never worth the risk.
  3. Watch out for Snakes! Those slipperies can really thrive when the weather warms up, so if you're walking your furry friends through bushlands or national parks, be extra careful to avoid snakes and make sure you know what to do if one of them manages to nip your pet. Snakes are attracted to the cover of scrub and long grass. If this sounds like your backyard, mow the lawn (or tell your parents to!) and pay attention for symptoms of snakebite - some are less obvious than others.
  4. Pets are Not Presents! Never ever buy an animal as a gift for someone, no matter how big the puppy dog eyes are! People should only get animals for themselves when they are sure they are ready for the commitment of having a pet, and then it should always be from an animal shelter, never a pet shop.
  5. Secure the Perimeter! Before the festivities start, ensure that your yard/house is safe and secure. Many pets can be spooked by loud noises including storms and especially fireworks. An escape proof property means there's no chance of Fido bolting over a fence or through a window and becoming lost or running into traffic. And ensures you don't spend your Christmas day frantically searching the streets!
  6. cat-thirsty.jpg&x=250&y=152Keep Decorations Out of Harms Way! When hanging ornaments, lights and tinsel on the tree, ensure they are high enough off the ground so as not to become a choking hazard to pets. We all know how much curious cats love shiny things!
  7. Provide a safe haven! When the house becomes crowded with friends and relatives, shy animals can become nervous and seek solitude. Make sure there is always somewhere quiet, away from people, where your animals can retreat to if they need to. You may also need to join them there for some time out by the end of the day! ;)
  8. Ration Leftovers Wisely! We've all seen the longing eyes of our beloved dogs and cats trying to levitate the food off the table, especially at holiday time. But certain tasty foods are potentially dangerous to dogs or cats and can cause significant damage or even death. While this list is certainly not definitive, some common foods on the Christmas table to avoid feeding your pets include: chocolate, grapes (raisins and sultanas) and nuts (both of which will probably be in your Chrissy pudding), garlic or onion (do you put these in your gravy or stuffing?), sugary candy, yeast (in bread), mushrooms, tomato leaves or stems, anything with caffeine and cooked chicken or turkey bones. Click here for a more extensive list of toxic foods. You should also never give your pets paracetamol, as this can kill the animal not the pain, (besides you may need it yourself for the Boxing Day recovery)! If you suspect your animal may have eaten something that could be harmful, take them to the vet immediately.
  9. dog-in-car.jpg&x=250&y=375Take Them With You! Ask your parents to find pet friendly accommodation if you are planning a trip away. Dr Katrina Warren has a few tried and true pet-friendly holiday spots listed on her website, as well as some very important tips for travelling with pets. If you really can't take your best friend with you, make sure you check out and inspect the best kennels available in your area and book well in advance (they fill up very fast for Christmas time!).
  10. Be Prepared for Wild Activity on the Road! Keep an emergency kit in the car for any unforseen mishaps on the road. As well as food and water for your own animals, make sure you bring extra, along with a blanket and a box in case you come across injured or exhausted wildlife on the road. Save the phone number for the local wildlife rescue service in your phone before you set out.

Let me know if you've got any more tips on how to ensure the festive season is enjoyed by all members of the family!
And for great ideas on having the ultimate cruelty-free Christmas, check out this brand new tradition: Pardon A Pig! Happy Holidays!

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Friday (warm and) fuzzies

Friday (warm and) fuzzies

Posted 5 November 2010   by Karen         Permalink | 13 Comments

Tags: cute, video, cats, rats

In so many ways, the animals have it worked out. Whilst we humans appear to have mastered technology, no matter how hard we try, we'll simply never be able to run faster, travel further, or hide better than nature's own team of superpowered critters. But all's not lost. I like to think there are some things that we can still learn from our furry friends.

Like ... how to get along... :-)

Happy Friday!!

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The Heroes of Halloween!
Posted By Jane

The Heroes of Halloween!

Posted 30 October 2010   by         Permalink | 7 Comments

Tags: Cats, Bats, Rats Owls, Wolves, Halloween, Recipes

It's Halloween time! Which means lots of talk of witches, ghosts, werewolves, zombies, bats, rats and black cats ... spoooooky!

But rather than fearing the animals traditionally associated with Halloween, I want us all to remember how awesome these creepy creatures really are and why we should love 'em! (Let's face it, this ain't gonna be a tough task!)

While in the US, black cats have the lowest adoption rates from shelters than any other colour, in Scotland it's believed owners of black cats will have lots of good luck and, shall we say, suitors. So single Scottish gals are reaping the benefits of having black moggies around the house!

Far from being scary symbols of vampires, bats are considered good luck in Poland and in China they are signs of happiness and prosperity. And let's not forget what would have become of Gotham City without Batman around to save the day!

Here in the Western world there's tales of werewolves coming out when the moon appears (and the Twilight stories aren't helping dispel this myth!), in Japan, wolves are considered to be Gods, where grain farmers even pray to wolves at shrines, asking them to protect their crops.

HedwigIn China, the rat is the first sign of the zodiac, and if you're born under this sign you are said to be intelligent, creative, generous and honest. Funny then, that in Western cultures, dishonest people are called 'dirty rats'! In India, it's considered a blessing to eat food that has been touched by rats ... now I love all animals, but I'm pretty sure it's gonna take a long time for that idea to catch on here, if ever!

Thankfully owls have managed to overcome their reputation of being 'bringers in death' as they're known in Africa. Today owls are symbols of wisdom. And of course, Harry Potter's beautiful Hedwig has shown us they're pretty good at delivering messages too!

All this talk of superstitions and cultural beliefs has got me feeling all inspired. When the kids come trick or treating at my door tonight, I'm gonna be all ready with my cruelty free white chocolate bites and witches' fingers (no, even witches don't get harmed in the making of these!).

That is as soon as I adopt a black cat to keep me company and attract lots of ... um ... protectors to my house for Halloween! ;)

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Throwing Animals in Bins is Wrong, Right?
Posted By Jane

Throwing Animals in Bins is Wrong, Right?

Posted 25 August 2010   by         Permalink | 38 Comments

Tags: news, cats, chickens, eggs, vegan

This is making headline news around the world: After 4 year old tabby cat, Lola, greeted Mary Bale in the street for a quick pat, Mary grabbed her by the scruff of the neck and shoved her into a wheelie bin before walking away. Lola was trapped inside the bin for 15 hours. Luckily, this was all caught on film, otherwise Lola may never have been found!

After the footage was posted on Facebook, people worldwide have been outraged that anyone could do such a thing to a defenceless animal.

Surely throwing an animal into a wheelie bin, any bin, and leaving him or her to die is illegal ... well ... it depends on the animal ...

We know that eggs come from hens and that hens are female. So when one hen stops laying eggs, she gets replaced with another ...female. All the egg industry needs are female birds to keep clucking along.

What happens to a chick if he's born a male? Unfortunately, he ends up in the bin. But the difference here is that when male chicks are thrown into bins at hatcheries across the globe, there are no security cameras filming the people responsible, no one will come to their rescue. Every year in Australia alone, an estimated 12 million day old baby birds are either ground up alive or tossed into a bin on top of their brothers to be gassed to death... and this is legal!

See for yourself what happens inside the world's largest hatchery (the same thing happens here):

No animal (furry or feathered) deserves to be tossed into a bin and left for dead. Fortunately, we can all take a stand against this cruelty by giving eggs the flick. No yolk, it's easy as vegan pie!

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National Desexing Month Can Fix You Up!
Posted By Jane

National Desexing Month Can Fix You Up!

Posted 10 August 2010   by         Permalink | 3 Comments

Tags: Pet overpopulation, dogs, cats, pets, desex, pounds, pet stores, puppy mills, adopt, breeders, National Desexing Month

So I just discovered that across Australia, 23 dogs and cats are euthanised every hour because there just aren't enough people willing to give them loving homes. I knew the stats were bad, but I had no idea they were that bad!

Puppy mills that supply pet shops aren't just blatantly cruel, they've caused the unwanted pet population to explode. The 'designer dog' phenomenon also adds to the problem. And this just gets multiplied when companion animals become unexpectedly pregnant because they haven't been desexed.

That's why I was really pleased to find out that the National Desexing Network has declared August to be National Desexing Month! This initiative of the Animal Welfare League of Qld has arranged for almost 100 vet clinics around Australia to offer subsidies, discounts and special deals on desexing your beloved pets.

If your animals are already desexed, well done you! Give yourself a gold star! If they aren't, then now's your chance! Click here to find a vet near you offering a reduced price! And if you know anyone who hasn't had their furry four-legged friend fixed, direct them to the website, to take of advantage of the discounts while they still can!

Still not convinced? Desexed animals are more sociable (no spraying or humping my leg thank you very much!), less prone to wander or fight, have reduced risk of getting cancers in the reproductive organs, and (the clincher for me) generally lead longer, healthier, happier lives. Who wouldn't want that for their best friend?

Plus, you'll never have the extra burden of having to find homes for unexpected bundles of fur, or worse, taking them to the pound in the hope that they will do it for you (don't forget that opening stat!).

And finally, if you're thinking of giving an animal a home, please don't buy. Visit a shelter. I promise you'll find your new best friend there, and save a life at the same time. I did! :)

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Stick It To Puppy Mills!

Stick It To Puppy Mills!

Posted 16 July 2010   by Jesse         Permalink | 13 Comments

Tags: puppy mills, dogs, cats, adopt, pet overpopulation, pounds, breeders, pet stores, factory farming, take action

Recently, Unleashed member, Lea sent me some sticker designs she had created to promote shelter adoption. It's always inspiring to see what other people are doing to speak up for animals, and so I wanted to share Lea's designs with you:

I probably don't need to tell you Lea's onto a good thing. Adopting an animal from a shelter, rather than buying one from a pet store or breeder, is a great way to help animals ... For so many reasons!

For starters, you're giving a needy animal a home. Every year across Australia, over 200,000 dogs and cats are put down in shelters because a loving home could not be found for them. Every time a dog or cat is bought from a pet store, or a breeder, that's one less home for an animal in a shelter. And to add insult to injury it also creates the demand for even more dogs and cats to be bred :(

If that weren't reason enough, then puppy mills certainly are! Puppy mills are like factory farms for dogs. Imagine dozens or even hundreds of dogs kept as breeding machines - each dog confined to a small enclosure and given little exercise. These animals rarely get enough opportunity to socialise with other dogs or humans. Investigations of puppy mills have found dogs huddled in enclosures without proper shelter or bedding, and have found sick and weak dogs without proper vet care.

Many pet stores sell puppies from puppy mills. It's heart breaking to think that while the furry little bundle of joy that families buy at a pet store is on his way to his new home, his mum and dad are probably still suffering in a puppy mill.

Adopting a new furry friend from a shelter can be an incredibly rewarding experience. And it is all the more rewarding when you know that you've given a needy animal a loving home. Fingers crossed Lea's stickers reach a lot of people (and I'm sure she'd be happy for you to print them out and help make that happen - click on either image to get a larger version).

Have you adopted an animal?

Got something you're doing to speak up for animals?

Leave a comment below and tell us your story.

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Save Yourself From Octuplets!

Save Yourself From Octuplets!

Posted 23 April 2010   by .ellehcoR         Permalink | 4 Comments

Tags: guest blog, dogs, cats, desex, pet overpopulation, pounds, octuplets

Have you heard about Nadya Suleman? Last year she grabbed worldwide attention when she gave birth to octuplets, bringing her total number of children to 14!!! Gosh, I have enough trouble keeping my own affairs in order, let alone looking after a football team's worth of kids! While Ms Suleman's situation might seem highly unusual, sadly in Australia there are many other mums giving birth to litters of children who may never have a proper home. Yup, I'm talking about dog and cat overpopulation.

The harsh reality is that every year over 200,000 cats and dogs in shelters across Australia will be deemed 'unwanted' and be euthanized. Now if that's not a big enough number for you to sit up straight, remember that there are also at this very second an estimated 10 million stray cats around the country. So it's easy to see that we're in a bit of a pickle!

But there is a solution (hoorah!)... The catch is that to make it work, everyone with companion animals has got to do their bit. A simple snip & sew (ie. desexing) by a vet will be a huge help to prevent even more cats and dogs suffering a life on the streets.

So if you haven't already, book your little guy/girl in for an overnight trip at the local vet. It isn't all too expensive, and it'll spare you the grief of having to deal with your own litter of octuplets!

This is my own little ambassador: Charlie, whom, due to being incredibly gorgeous and irresistibly handsome, is definitely a ladies' man dog. Although I'm sure he knows he won't father children... it still doesn't stop him from trying ;)

Don't disappoint those puppy eyes!


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Why Furry Friends Don't Always Make Warm Fuzzy Prezzies
Posted By Ward

Why Furry Friends Don't Always Make Warm Fuzzy Prezzies

Posted 20 December 2008   by         Permalink | 2 Comments

Tags: dogs, cats, Christmas, adopt, desex, pounds, breeders, pet stores, pet overpopulation

Tis the season to be jolly, no doubt. But as we edge towards Christmas, I couldn't help noticing all of the pet shop windows filled with animals. And this got me thinking that sometimes the best of intentions can have tragic consequences.

Australians love their pets53% of households have a furry friend. And there's no denying it's easy to fall for those cute little animals in pet store windows (they don't call them puppy dog eyes' for nothing)! Yet, most people have no idea where these animals come from, or the sad fate that awaits so many of them. So in hoping for a kinder Christmas for animals this year, here are 5 things you should know about giving animals as presents.

  1. Overpopulation:
    Animal shelters and pounds are already beyond capacity with abandoned and orphaned animals. Every year, some 250,000 healthy cats and dogs are killed around Australia, simply because there is no one who will take them in. When people buy animals from backyard breeders or pet stores, they literally destroy the chances of a shelter animal finding a home, and they put money in the pockets of those who are creating the overpopulation problem.
  2. Puppy Mills:
    Sadly, most animals in pet stores come from puppy millsfactory-like facilities where animals live in miserable conditionsthe mothers are treated as nothing more than breeding machines, until they reach their limit, and usually die. Puppy mills are factory farms for dogs and cats.
  3. The Commitment:
    Post-Christmas, animal shelters receive more animals than at any other time of year. Why? Because adopting an animal is a lot of responsibility, and many people don't consider the commitment they are making, or that they are obliging someone else to make by giving them an animal. Consider this: Will you have enough time to exercise and train them? Will you have the money to feed them and cover vet bills? Do you have the space? These are important questions, and not easy ones to answer for someone else.
  4. An Unpleasant Surprise:
    At some point we've all opened some present and thought Oh god! What am I going to do with this?, but unlike that shirt you'll never wear, or that book you'll never read you cannot pack an animal in a box and forget about them. Many people don't have the time, patience or desire to look after an animal. So that cute little fur ball may not give your loved one the pleasant surprise you'd hoped.
  5. Adopt & Desex:
    Giving an animal as a gift is never a good idea, unless you've consulted the person who will be looking after the animal first. So if you're certain they tick all the right boxes and they've said they want a furry addition to the family, then here's how to put a smile on someone's dial and save a life: adopt from a shelter. Adopting from a shelter gives a home to an animal in need and helps to reduce pet overpopulation. And be sure to desexdesexing does more good than you can ever imagine. The world doesn't need any more dogs and catswe need homes for the ones who are already here.

Peace out!
Ward

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