Pet Scam: The Animal Control Officer Who Wants Cash

On the heels of pet-flipping comes the latest ruse facing dog owners: Scammers posing as animal control officers. It’s occurred sporadically but not extensively in the past.  Now it seems on the rebound – at least in retiree-rich South Florida. TV station WPTV reports a case in which a couple living in an over-55 community lost $550 to an imposter claiming there had been complaints about the couple’s dog.  He threatened to impound the pooch unless they immediately paid. They obliged. …

Why the Post Office Might Stop Delivering Mail to Your Door

I’m fortunate to have one of most adorable dogs in the world – Cara, our 7-year-old wire fox terrier – watching over our house (nearly always from inside) pretty much 24/7. She is diabolically effective in scaring Darrell, our cheerful and ever-reliable postal carrier, away from the house within moments after he’s left mail at our front door. Earlier this year, I had to break the news to Cara that the U.S. Postal Service was proposing to do away with …

How Professional Dog Walking Got Its Start

In 1964, then New York Times reporter and later book author Gay Talese wrote a short profile of a man who had embarked on what seemed like a unique, exotic profession. Jim Buck walked other people’s dogs – 30 or 4o of them a day – while their owners were at work. Talese marveled at how Buck – a slender 145 pounds at six feet in height - managed a 150-pound Great Dane, a pair of Labrador Retrievers, and several other dogs all …

8 Rich Resources for Needy Animal Owners

There’s a lot of attention on taking care of older adults, but what happens when the elderly need help caring for others – in this case, their pets? The owners might be ill or have mobility issues and can’t walk their dog, for instance. Or, their fixed income and rising daily living costs make feeding Rover or Kitty an expense they can no longer cover. Annual expenses (i.e. vet visits, food and supplements, boarding, toys) for dogs and cats are …

Senate Aging Committee to Showcase Virtual Talking Dog

As you’ve probably noticed, congressional events increasingly seem to feature movie stars such as Harrison Ford and other celebrities as a way of gaining public attention for an issue. But at the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging’s Healthy Aging Forum, scheduled for May 23 on Capitol Hill, there will be an even more unusual guest: GeriJoy, the talking virtual dog developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. GeriJoy is specifically designed to give older people with dementia …

Miracle In Oklahoma: ‘I Know He’s In Here Somewhere’

Amid the devastation of the Oklahoma tornado, Barbara Garcia simply proceeded according to plan. As the sky darkened and the funnel cloud approached, she headed to her small bathroom with her dog. She hoped they’d be safe there. (If you can’t see the video embedded below, try reloading the page or view it here.) The reunion of Garcia and her dog is just one of the wonderful things about this report. For our money, even better is her matter-of-factness and …