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The Ruff Report: News about dogs Dec. 21 to 27, 2008

Dec. 21 to 27, 2008

Airlines impose higher fees, more restrictions

People who plan to travel by plane with their pets can expect to pay higher fees and face more restrictions.

Airlines have been raising in-cabin and cargo fees and some are banning pet travel, according to research by

"These higher fees and tougher rules will be a burden on pet owners who travel and wish to carry their pets in the cabin for safety and other reasons," George Hobica, founder of, states in a media release.

Flying with a pet could become as expensive as flying an additional person, Hobica states. found changes airlines have made include:
  • Frontier Airlines banning pets from the cabin and charging up to $400 to fly pets in the cargo hold.
  • Delta and American Airlines raising in-cabin pet fees from $200 to $300.
  • United raising its in-cabin fee to an industry-leading $350 and $500 for cargo.
Southwest Airlines bans pets except for trained assistance animals accompanying a person with a disability or being delivered to one.

"At $350 a trip, we might be better off enrolling Browser, our canine mascot, in some hang-gliding courses, or - if the fees keep going up - tie some helium balloons to the kennel, toss in a tracking device and hope for the best," Hobica states. "His chances of an on-time arrival couldn't be any worse than on some airlines."

New approach to help curb pet surrender

A Texas humane society is hoping to reduce the number of animals surrendered to it by providing free behavioral advice to pet parents.

The Waco Humane Society & Animal Shelter has hired a full-time behaviorist to help pet owners with animal-etiquette situations that result in some deciding to give up their animals, the Tribune-Herald reports.

Karen Froehlich, the society’s director, says about 70 percent of pets dropped off at the shelter are left because of behavioral issues such as excessive barking, jumping and running away. Most pets’ negative actions can be stopped, regardless of an animal’s age or background, she said.

"There are so many options other than just surrendering," Froehlich told the newspaper. "Some of the behavior can be fixed in a day."

So the shelter has hired Sandy Wittliff, who owns seven rescue dogs and three "grand-dogs," to answer pet parents' questions by phone or e-mail. Wittliff is also a registered "pet partner" through Delta Society, a nonprofit group that tries to bridge relationships between animals and humans.

"Dogs get 95 percent of their information from our body language," Wittliff explains. "Words don’t mean jack to them. It’s all about body language and your tone of voice. That’s it."

Visit for more information about the humane society's new initiative.

Cushing's drug receives FDA approval

A medication to treat Cushing's syndrome, a form of cancer in dogs, has received approval for use in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration.

Vetoryl capsules, made by Dechra Veterinary Products of Britain, also has received approval to treat of hyperadrenocorticism caused by adrenal tumors in dogs, the company states in a media release.

The capsules contain the drug trilostane, which has been demonstrated to be effective in the treatment of pituitary-dependent hyperadrenocorticism, a condition found in most cases of Cushing's syndrome in dogs, the company states.

The drug has been used fore several years in 21 countries in Europe.

Dogs seized from Indiana breeder

An Indiana woman's dog-breeding business has been shut down and 55 dogs - many suffering from medical ailments - have been removed by humane societies from her property.

The dogs, as well as four horses, that were taken from Tammy Gilchrist of Cloverdale will be assesses by veterinarians, given medical treatment and prepared for adoption, Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter announced in a media release. Many of the dogs were emaciated and had open sores and skin conditions.

"The future of these animals is a lot brighter," said Anne Sterling, Indiana state director of the Humane Society of the United States. "It is extremely gratifying to know that we have given these animals the chance to live outside the confines of their squalid cages."

The animals have been temporarily placed with humane organizations in Indiana including the Humane Society Calumet Area in Munster. Visit for adoption information.

Solid Gold recalls some canned dog food

Solid Gold has voluntarily recalled some canned dog food after receiving complaints about mold being found in some cans.

The recalled involves 13.2-ounce cans of turkey, ocean fish, carrot & sweet potatoes formula with pop-tops, the company states on its web site. The bottom of the cans are labeled "Use By Date 01/02/2010."

The recalls does not involve turkey and ocean fish cans without a pop-top. None of the food was distributed in Arizona, California, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Hawaii or Alaska.

Consumers can return the food to the store where they purchased it. Visit for more information.

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