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April 2011

Results of National Mutt Census Released

MuttCensus The 2010 Census revealed a lot about our nation's population, so Mars Incorporated, makers of Pedigree dog food, decided it would be just as useful to find out about the nation's "mutts." The company's Mars Veterinary division, a leading authority in dog DNA analysis, sponsored the first ever National Mutt Census to get a snapshot of the make-up of the nation's 38 million mixed breed dogs.

Results of the National Mutt Census were recently released and are available at Here are some interesting facts about mutts and their owners in North Carolina according to the Mutt Census:

  • The top breeds detected in mutts in North Carolina were, in order of priority, Labrador Retriever, Chow, Boxer, German Shepherd, and Golden Retriever
  • About 78 percent of North Carolinians own 2 or more pets, and over 22 percent of the population owns 5 or more pets.
  • 39 percent of dogs were adopted from an animal shelter.
  • The two leading methods of acquiring a dog were: (1) from a friend, relative or neighbor, and (2) the dog was found somewhere.
  • Over 86 percent of dogs in the state have been spayed or neutered.

Pets in the City, April 30, Kingsport, TN

Motorcycledog Pets in the City is East Tennessee's largest gathering of pet owners and pet lovers and it's a fun-filled day for everyone. Sponsored by the Animal Rescue Coalition, the event takes place on Saturday, April 30, from 10 AM to 5 PM at E. Main and Broad Street in Kingsport, TN. Admission is free.

Pets in the City will feature several events, including:
- Pet Miles 1 mile run/walk, starting at 10 AM,with three divisions (Children, Men and Women), as well as a "Senior Shuffle" and "Puppy Crawl"
- Spring Bonnets Walk for Pets and People
- Running of the Bulls (bulldogs event)
- Meet Critters of the Cinema agent Terri Dillisten to see if your pet could be an animal actor
- Two shows by the "Homeless to Flying High" Frisbee Dogs
- Pet costume contest
- Pet and people photography
- Puppy kissing booth
- Food drive for shelter animals
- Dog games, moon bounce, face painting and more.

For more information and updates on activities, visit:

Sips for Snips - Greenville, April 28

Sipsforsnips Greenville Humane Society is sponsoring "Sips for Snips," a fun, upscale event created to help raise funds for the society's spay/neuter program. It will be held on Thursday evening, April 28, from 6 to 9 PM at ZEN, 924 S. Main Street in Greenville. 

Each $40 ticket provides the holder with admission to the fundraiser emceed by Upstate celebrity Stacie Bartro from Magic 98.9, heavy hors d'oeuvres, 2 drink tickets for beer or wine, access to an exclusive Silent Auction, and great live music. A cash bar is also available.

All proceeds from ticket sales and the Silent Auction will go to support the spay/neuter program at the Greenville Humane Society. Donations are welcome even if you cannot attend.

For more information about Sips for Snips and to purchase tickets visit:

Pet First Aid Class-Hendersonville, April 26

Petfirstaid-cartoon The American Red Cross Pet First Aid class can help pet owners keep their pets safe and care for them in an emergency. At the class you'll learn such skills as CPR, choking actions, stopping bleeding and other important emergency skills.

A Pet First Aid class will be held on Tuesday, April 26 at 5:30 PM at Wag Pet Boutique, 231-A N. Main Street, Hendersonville. The cost is $30 and includes one of two available reference guides (one for dogs or one for cats). Additional books are available for $10 if purchased with the class. The Red Cross even has dog and cat manikins to assist in the training. No pets are permitted in the classroom. A $5 discount coupon for the class is available at Wag.

For more information about this class or scheduled classes in the future, please call the Henderson County Chapter, American Red Cross, at (828) 693-5605, or visit Register by phone with a credit card, or stop in at 203 2nd Avenue East to sign up for the class. Please note: Advance registration is required.

Rally in Columbia, SC, April 21

Chesterfield dog On Thursday, April 21 from 3:00 to 6:00 PM, the Animal Adoption League will sponsor a rally on the North grounds and the steps of the State House in Columbia, South Carolina. The purpose of the rally is to urge the governor and state senators to consider upgrading the animal protection laws in South Carolina and authorize the inspection of animal shelters throughout the state. Supporters should wear either a black shirt (memorial) or green shirt (hope) and carry signs if desired.

The motivation for the rally is the alleged shooting of dogs at the Chesterfield County, SC animal shelter that took place in early March. Apparently, dogs were shot instead of being euthanized by injection. The allegation is currently under investigation by the state's Attorney General. Four shelter employees are on administrative leave until results of the investigation are finalized.

For additional information about the event, go to:

ReTail Scene: Lucky Dog Delivers Opens Woodfin Store

Luckydogstore Lucky Dog Delivers, an Asheville area pet store on wheels, has settled down and opened up a shop in Woodfin. Still delivering holistic and natural pet foods to pet lovers in and around Asheville, their healthy foods and eco-friendly products are now also available at the new shop at 175 Weaverville Highway, Woodfin.

Deane Giordano, owner of Lucky Dog Delivers Holistic Pet Supplies, says she hopes to use the new venue for puppy socialization hours, free nutritional consultations, a library of pet health information, pet adioption events, in-store fostering of homeless pets through local shelters, and a worm composting center.

Hours at the store are 10 AM to 6 PM, Tuesday through Saturday. For more information about the shop or the free delivery service, call (828) 484-9032, or visit .

Pet First Aid, Low Cost Shots, April 16, Asheville

ACNfirstaid Animal Compassion Network (ACN) and The American Red Cross are partnering to present a Pet First Aid and CPR Class, along with a Low Cost Shot Clinic, on Saturday, April 16 in Asheville.

The $35 Pet First Aid and CPR Class will be held from 10 AM to 1 PM at The American Red Cross, 100 Edgewood Road in Asheville (at the corner of Merrimon and Edgewood). It includes comprehensive instruction for emergency treatment of pets, demonstrations, and a first aid book. Pre-registration is required for the class. To register or for more information, call Cappy Tosetti at (828) 712-0983 or (828) 258-3888, ext. 214, or send an email to: .

After the class, a low-cost shot clinic will be held at ACN's Pet Harmony store, 803 Fairview Street in Asheville (behind Province 620 restaurant) from 2 PM to 5 PM. Rabies shots are $10, other vaccinations are $15, and microchips are $18. Shots will be administered by Dr. Margaret Moncure of Appalachian Animal Hospital. Cash, checks, and MasterCard and Visa will be accepted.

Pizza, Pups and Pussycats - April 15, 16

Pizzapups-AHSevent Join Asheville Humane Society for "Pizza, Pups and Pussycats," a yummy and fun adoption event on Friday and Saturday, April 15 and 16 from Noon to 6 PM at the Adoption & Education Center, 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville.

Stop by to sample pizza from Asheville's very own GalloLea Organics, makers of Whole Wheat and Gluten Free Pizza Kits. Enjoy free Cheerwine, NC's very own soft drink. Enter the raffle to win a "Pizza Date Night" Gift Basket. Plus, adopt adult dogs at the very special price of just $49, or adult cats for only $29! (Adults are 6 months or older.) Every adopted dog gets some free Pup-peroni, and every adopted cat gets a free cat toy.

Come and have some "Pizza and Cheer" and adopt the love of your life at "Pizza, Pups and Pussycats." To see adoptable animals, and for directions to the Adoption & Education Center, which is off Brevard Road, behind Deal Motor Cars, visit:

Can Your Dog Become a Therapy Dog?

PawsPurposephoto The more we learn about dogs, the more we understand their value -- not just to us as pets, but as members of society capable of helping others. One way dogs can give back is to become volunteer therapy dogs. This gives them a sense of purpose because they have a "job" -- and it is also a wonderful experience for the dog owner, who is the dog's partner in providing therapy.

There are a number of ways therapy dogs can help society. For example:
- they can visit classrooms and assist children with reading
- they can bring a smile to the face of kids who are in hospitals
- they can brighten the day of a resident at a nursing home.

Not all dogs are suited to become therapy dogs. Some programs require therapy certification.

The following programs operate in the Carolina mountains. Contact each directly for more information by clicking on the name to be directed to the organization's website.

Paws with a Purpose - Asheville area

Paws 2 Care - Upstate SC area

SC Dogs Therapy Group - Anderson, Seneca, Clemson area

For more information about therapy dogs in general, contact:

Therapy Dogs International

Intermountain Therapy Animals

Therapy Dogs Inc.

National Council for Aging Care's guide on Pets for Seniors

Photo: Paws with a Purpose

An Invitation from the AHS President

AHS-logo Asheville Humane Society, which runs the Buncombe County Animal Shelter along with the new Adoption & Education Center on the Animal Care Campus in Asheville, is a leading user of social media. The organization maintains an active Facebook page with over 2,800 fans and a Twitter account with some 1,400 followers.

Katherine McGowan Shenar, the president/CEO of Asheville Humane Society, also actively uses social media to update animal lovers on issues, offer helpful information, and provide an inside look at the operation of WNC's largest animal welfare organization. Katherine invites everyone who owns a pet or loves animals to check out her Facebook page and Twitter account.

Dog Walkers are Healthier

Manwithdog-fletcherpark Those of us who walk our dogs religiously can feel pretty darn good about several recent studies that show "dogs can be powerful motivators to get people moving," reports Tara Parker-Pope in The New York Times. "Not only are dog owners more likely to take regular walks, but new research shows that dog walkers are more active over all than people who don't have dogs," writes Parker-Pope.

A new study by Michigan State University, just published in the Journal of Physical Activity & Health, indicates that "dog walking was associated with a significant increase in walking activity and LTPA" (Leisure Time Physical Activity). Of those dog owners who went on regular walks, 60 percent met federal standards for regular moderate or vigorous exercise. Two-thirds of the dog owners, who were Michigan residents, took regular walks lasting at least 10 minutes with their dogs. However, owning a dog did not guarantee physical activity.

Tara Parker-Pope raises an interesting question, "whether owning a dog encourages regular activity or whether active, healthy people are simply more likely to acquire dogs as walking companions."

Another study from the University of Missouri, published last year, suggested that dogs are better walking companions than humans. Yes -- and they don't argue with you, either!


Indognation - Dog Walking and Training

Idognation A recent article in the Asheville Citizen-Times likened Gary Strasburg to "WNC's dog whisperer," referring to the acclaimed Cesar Millan of Dog Whisperer fame, who manages to get just about any dog to be calm and obedient.

Gary runs a different kind of service for dog owners, combining training with off-leash hikes in the forest (but only after he gets to know and trust each dog in his care). Through his business, Indognation, Gary offers guided walks such as group adventures, solo runs, short leashed group jaunts, and short leashed solo strolls. His training sessions include "the reform hike," "solo rehab walks," day training and private training.

Gary is part dog behaviorist, part dog trainer, and part dog recreation director. You can learn more about what he can do for your dog by visiting the Indognation website or calling (828) 335-1140.

Strut Your Mutt, Apr. 16, Clemson, SC

Hotdog The 5th Annual "Strut Your Mutt" event will be held on Saturday, April 16 at the Foothills YMCA (Y Beach), Clemson, SC from 9:00 AM to 1 PM. 

Dog owners are invited to bring their pets to the Clemson Y Beach where they and their dogs can enjoy an assortment of activities, demonstrations and games. The main event of the morning is the Walk, where dog owners will “strut” their mutts around the perimeter of the Y Beach property. The event will include a musical DJ and guest appearances, vendors, food, contests and prizes.

For the last 4 years, Strut Your Mutt has hosted over 700 people and raised over $8000 for local animal charities. Proceeds from the event will go to support local animal shelters. The mission of Strut your Mutt is to provide a fun, family friendly activity for the community to encourage interaction with each other and their dogs while raising money for local animal shelters.

For more information, visit: