Friday, May 23, 2008

Pet Smarts

The economy is in a funk, housing is down and jobs are scarce. So guess what company is reporting a 9.1% growth increase? Pet Smart.

Yep, while other industries are watching water drain from their income tub, the pet industry continues to grow. Pet Smart's revenues through May of 2008 are 9.1 percent higher than the same time last year. People clearly value their pets and continue to spend money on them, despite economic hard times. In fact, it's been proven that people will skimp on food for themselves to provide for their pets. And we love being spoiled.

Here's another interesting tidbit on the news front: Menu Foods, one of the leading manufacturers of pet foods, along with other food producers have agreed to a $24 million dollar settlement fund to compensate owners of pets affected by tainted pet food in 2007. The food contained chemicals from China introduced to the food during the multi-level manufacturing process.

Here's more from a USA Today report:

The vast majority of the fund will go to pet owners whose pets were injured or died as a result of kidney failure, which was linked to the contaminant discovered in some of the recalled pet food.

Damages supported by documentation, such as veterinary receipts, may be paid in full.

Claimants also could get $900 per claim for undocumented losses, according to the agreement filed in U.S. District Court in New Jersey.

The settlement requires that eligible claimants' dogs or cats ate a pet food recalled between March 16, 2007, and now. Coverable expenses include veterinary bills, pet food costs, burial costs, replacement pet costs, property damage and lost wages to care for sick animals.

The fund includes only $250,000 to compensate pet owners for food purchases, because most people have already been reimbursed for recalled pet food. Another $400,000 is allocated for people who had pets screened that were found to be healthy.

In addition to Menu, defendants include pet-food makers Del Monte, Hill's Pet Nutrition and Iams; retailers such as Wal-Mart and importers ChemNutra and Wilbur-Ellis.

The contaminated pet food ingredients, wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate, were adulterated in China with the industrial chemical melamine, which would make them appear to be richer in protein.

The recall was the largest of pet food in history, drawing Food and Drug Administration review, congressional inquiry and U.S. attorney investigations. Within days of the recall, the first lawsuits were filed against Menu and others.

The FDA never identified how many pets were affected, but it received more than 17,000 pet-owner complaints.

Wow - $24 Million dollars buys a lotta Alpo!


And the band marches on..

Enough about politics. Back to the important stuff - animals like me!

In May we've been able to rescue 21 dogs and cats from Walton County Animal Control and get them on the road to new homes. Here are just a couple:

We've also got kittens for adoption displayed at Boss Bros. Store and also West Walton Feed. Please adopt these detestful creatures. I do not want them coming back here! Nuisances.

We're sliding toward summer and WAG is keeping their event calendar light. The heat seems to make people sluggish. We'll be appearing at the Between Festival in August, have our usual adoption events at Boss Bros. on the second Saturday, and of course, our membership meetings on the third Tuesday. But other than that, we're just chillin'!

But don't worry about me. I've found a cool spot under the porch and will be keeping you updated as usual.

'Til later.
PS. Here's one more lucky rescue dog!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Fur Lovers Unite!

So, I've already told you the Walton County Commission Chairman is coming to our membership meeting on June 17. Let me tell you why that's important.

There has been no humane society in Walton County for a very long time. Unfortunately, our animal services have suffered because of the lack of attention. Here's a few challenges we face:

  • The shelter is old, outdated and very undersized.
  • We are the only shelter in the 19 county metro-Atlanta area that doesn't offer evening or weekend hours.
  • The animals are available for viewing from 2-5 pm, 4 days a week. Most face euthanasia after about 2 weeks if not adopted. That means they have a mere 24 hours on public display in the shelter.
  • Nearly 80% of the animals coming into the shelter are eventually euthanized.
  • The shelter only takes money orders for adoption fees - no cash, checks or credit cards.
  • Our county parks don't permit pets.
  • Our cruelty ordinances need strengthening.

That's enough for starters.

This meeting is intended to talk about what services and changes are planned and discuss what other animal-related concerns. The attendance at this meeting will speak volumes to the politicians. So if you feel we can do better, please come out and support us. After all, us fur-lovers have gotta stick together!

Oh, we'll also be giving our "State of the Animals" report, with info on the impact of pets in Walton Co. Can the night get any more exciting? I think not.

Tuesday, June 17, 6:30 pm. Walton-Monroe Library, 2317 W. Spring St., Monroe. Be there!

'Til later, Buddy

Big News

On June 17, 2008, Walton County Commission Chairman Kevin Little will appear at our meeting to discuss plans for the new shelter, along with animal services in Walton County.

We are very excited at this opportunity to raise the importance of animal services in the eyes of the local politicians, so please come out and support us. You don't have to be a member to come, just show up at the Walton-Monroe Library on Spring Street at 6:30 pm on June 17. We're also be giving our State of the Animals Report, so it will be a multi-fact-filled evening!

For a Tuesday night, this will be some pretty exciting stuff!!

'Til later,


Sunday, May 11, 2008

An animal report

Thanks to those who came out to the McDaniel-Tichenor House pet show, and also our adoption this weekend at Boss Bros. Gorgeous weather both days, so maybe we've shrugged off the run of rain clouds we were under for awhile.

Here some news - WAG will be compiling a "Walton Co. State of the Animals " report, giving some local stats on animal services, ownership, costs and expenditures. We're also gathering information on local groomers, boarding, training, and other pet services, so if you have a business that falls into those categories, drop us an email and let us know.