More Suspicious Meatballs Found in San Francisco

suspicious meatballs san franciscoYet another round of suspicious meatballs has been found in a San Francisco park frequented by dogs. A woman spotted a plate of meatballs with pills sticking out of them Monday morning at the Sunset Reservoir near the corner of Ortega and 24th Avenue.

Police are testing the meatballs to see if the pills are poisonous. A $25,000 reward is being offered by the Animal Defense Fund for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for these meatballs.

This is the fourth such sighting of suspicious meatballs in San Francisco in the past two years. A dachshund named Oskar died in July 2013 after eating a suspicious meatball in the Twin Peaks neighborhood.

Some residents think off-leash dogs might be targeted because not all owners clean up after them.

To keep your dog safe, keep him on a leash unless he is 100 percent reliable with recall and the command “off!” or “drop it!”

We have frequented the Sunset Reservoir and there are many areas an off-leash dog can get into trouble with poisonous meatballs potentially hiding in the brush on the hills flanking the fences of the reservoir. We stay on the path and only let the dogs run on the grass where we can see them.

Tick Season Underway; How to Keep Your Dog Safe

Wild winter weather has led to an early emergence of ticks and with tick season now officially underway, we’re laying out the tips to make sure your dog stays safe.

tick

Photo by: André Karwath aka Aka (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Ticks are found virtually everywhere in California and if you visit woodsy areas with tall grasses, like the Marin Headlands, you will want to check your dog for ticks once you leave.

“Comb your dog or look him over thoroughly after outings to find ticks before they attach,” Dr. Brandy Vickers of Avenues Pet Hospital says.

It’s important to check your dog as soon as possible after leaving wooded areas. The faster you find a tick and have it removed, the lower the risk of transmission of tick-borne diseases.

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Dog Walkers Rally Against New Restrictions

Bay Area dog walkers gathered at Fort Mason Wednesday afternoon to protest the Golden Gate National Recreation Area’s proposal to immediately reduce the number of dogs commercial dog-walkers can take to popular parks in San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties.

The GGNRA wants to implement an interim rule reducing commercial dog-walker groups to six, rather than eight, dogs at parks like Fort Funston, Crissy Field, Ocean Beach, Stinson Beach and others. This rule is part of the controversial 1500-page Dog Management Plan, which is currently undergoing a government-mandated review process.

Dog walkers say reducing the number of dogs they can take will hurt their business, resulting in higher rates for customers. The other option would be frequenting city parks instead of national parks.

That’s exactly what San Francisco City Supevisors are afraid of. They are against the Dog Management Plan because they say it doesn’t adequately address the overflow at city parks which will result from restricting access to the national parks and will be a drain on city resources.

See the rally and the full details in this KRON 4 report:

 

Follow all the latest updates on the GGNRA proposal with the Save Off Leash group’s website and Facebook page.

 

 

Stray Dogs From Sochi Arrive for Adoption

This is a great story. Ten dogs are now up for adoption in Washington D.C. after being rescued from the streets of Sochi during the Olympic Games.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images. A supervisor at the Washington rescue housing the stray pups checks on one of the little guys.

The dogs are described as very sweet and well mannered but a little stressed out from the two-day trip from Russia. They’ll be given a medical evaluation and will be available for adoption within weeks, if all goes well.

Organizers at the rescue housing the pups say there has been a lot of interest in these dogs because people heard about the horrible conditions for strays in Sochi with dogs being rounded up and killed.

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Pet Food Company to Pay $2 Million for Salmonella Outbreak

A major pet-food manufacturer is shelling out millions to settle a class-action lawsuit after their salmonella-tainted kibble sickened pets and humans alike. Diamond Pet Foods will pay $2 million in damages for eight recalls in 2012 that left 20 humans and countless pets ill. 

Costco’s Kirkland Signature Brand and Natural Balance pet foods are two of the well-known brands involved in the massive recall. A full list of the foods affected contains other lesser-known brands, as well.

Food Safety News says Diamond’s case wasn’t helped by a FDA inspection that found numerous health violations at their manufacturing facility in South Carolina. The FDA also found another strain of salmonella in Diamond’s Missouri manufacturing plant. The recalled foods were manufactured between Dec. 9, 2011 and April 7, 2012.

If you think you may have been affected, you have until July 11, 2014 to file a claim. Details can be found on the lawsuit’s home page.

Suspicious Meatballs Found Again in San Francisco

San Francisco dog owners beware! Suspicious meatballs were once again spotted in the Twin Peaks and Richmond neighborhoods of San Francisco, setting off another scare nearly eight months after a dachshund died from eating a poison-laced meatball.

KRON 4 San Francisco

Police found hundreds of poisonous meatballs in July, 2013 around the Twin Peaks and Diamond Heights neighborhoods. Investigators think whoever left those poisoned meatballs was trying to kill dogs.

And that perpetrator may be striking again.

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California Woman Sentenced for Animal Cruelty

rescued dog

This little pup was one of 14 dogs rescued by the Monterey County SPCA.

A woman accused of selling pets under the guise of a rescue organization pled no contest Friday to animal cruelty charges in Salinas. Crystal Kisicki was accused of trying to sell the 17 neglected animals in front of a PetSmart last June. She’ll now spend ten days in jail, three years on probation and pay restitution. She will also be required to follow strict guidelines to keep the three pets she personally owns. Her pets will be microchipped and will be checked by a vet every three months.

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Reminder: GGNRA Comment Period Ending Soon!

The clock is ticking to tell the Golden Gate National Recreation Area what you think about their Dog Management Plan; public comments are due by February 18, 2014!

By now, you’re likely aware of the GGNRA’s plan to drastically reduce dog access at a number of national parks around the Bay Area, including Fort Funston (if not, see our links at the end of this post). To give you a visual idea of the land the GGNRA wants to take away at the Fort, check out this telling image courtesy of Rocky at Ocean Beach DOG:

fortfunstonmap

You can see access will be drastically cut, with cuts represented by the red on the map. The green areas are the only areas dogs will be allowed off-leash, a mere fraction of the current off-leash area.

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7 Dog Breed Stereotypes

We saw a recent article on Yahoo! Shine detailing seven dog breeds that don’t deserve their stereotype and really wanted to share it. We couldn’t agree more! Properly training your dog, regardless of breed, is the single most important thing owners can do to make sure he grows up without any behavioral issues.

We consulted our expert trainer Beverly Ulbrich, founder of The Pooch Coach, to help further debunk these breed stereotypes. She told us any dog can be fearful and aggressive.

pit bull dog

American Pit Bull Terrier by Scott Kinmartin, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

“All dogs need to be properly socialized and trained so they are not fearful, which almost always leads into aggression,” Ulbrich says. “Dogs need to learn boundaries and have bite inhibition. They should be taught not to growl or snap when upset.”

She also emphasizes dogs should be treated as individuals and it isn’t fair to make general assumptions about a breed.

“I don’t like spearking in generalities about breed,” Ulbrich says. “Breeds are like nationalities for people; they might look similar, but personalities and disorders vary greatly.”

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FDA Moves to Regulate Pet-Food Production

The Food and Drug Administraton announced Friday it is proposing new regulations for the pet food industry. The announcement comes after thousands of pets have been sickened and hundreds have died from contaminated chicken jerky treats originating in China.

You may find it shocking this is the first time the FDA is taking steps to protect pet food from disease-causing bacteria, chemicals and other contaminants. But we at YDB have provided some sobering facts about the commercial pet food industry, and are glad to hear the FDA is now taking a stand to protect pets.

The proposed rule would create regulations for commercial food sold in stores as well as the feed given to livestock that will eventually be used in commercial food. The entire process would be regulated, from manufacturing and processing to packaging and holding of animal food. 

“Unlike safeguards already in place to protect human foods, there are currently no regulations governing the safe production of most animal foods,” Dr. Daniel McChesney, an FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine official, says. “There is no type of hazard analysis. This rule would change all that.”

The proposed rule will also hold pet foods exported to the United States to the same FDA safety standards as foods produced in the U.S. It would require facilities to have a food safety plan, analyze potential hazards and take steps to minimize those hazards. 

However, the new rule will not address the make-up of pet food; things like allergens in pet food will not be regulated, which can be an issue for many dogs, including Yellow Dog. Common allergens found in commercial dog food are beef, corn, soy, wheat and fillers such as dried beet pulp.

The proposed rule has been published in the Federal Register, with a 120-day public comment period. Three public meetings will be held on the proposed rule in College Park, Maryland, Chicago and Sacramento, California.