Author: Jeanne Bennett

Animal cruelty is growing; you can be an effective fighter against it

By JeanneBennett Spirit staff Pet Advocate   Police were called to the 2800 block of West Sixth St. in Chester on Saturday night where they discovered the charred bodies of two dogs inside a tote bag. Local news reports indicated the pair had been tied up and set on fire behind a garage. Officials believe they may have been dead before they were placed inside the bag and set on fire. A necropsy is planned to determine the exact cause of death and a cash reward was offered for information leading to arrest and prosecution. As horrific as...

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Your cats get old like you do

By JeanneBennett Spirit staff Pet Advocate Part One of a Series Just as people are living longer than they did in the past, cats are living longer too. In fact, the percentage of cats over age six has nearly doubled in just over a decade, and there is every reason to expect that the “graying” cat population will continue to grow. Cats are individuals and, like people, they experience advancing years in their own unique ways. Many cats begin to encounter age-related physical changes between ages seven and 10, and most do so by the time they are...

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Surviving a house fire with pets takes planning

Having your home damaged or destroyed by a fire is a major life trauma. No one ever wants to think a fire will happen to them. And hopefully it won’t. But there are almost 400,000 house fires in the U.S. every year and half a million pets are affected by these fires. So it’s important to be prepared and have a fire evacuation plan that you have practiced with your family and your pets. The best way to protect your pets in the event you have to evacuate is to bring them with you; if possible, secure dogs with...

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Mulch ado about nothing or is it?

While mulch serves a variety of functions in the home garden, mulch application issues, like mulch itself, is toxic to dogs and need to be addressed for the safety of your precious pets before they occur. Generally, mulch poses little threat to cats, though it can become a haven for use as a litter box. Dogs, on the other hand, often chew on some types of mulch, which can become dangerous. A wide range of mulch materials are available to the home gardener that are each ideal for different gardening applications. In terms of what is best for your...

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Catnip: The other weed

Catnip, catmint, catwort, field balm — it doesn’t matter what you call it. Lions, tigers, panthers, and your common domestic tabby just can’t seem to get enough of this fragrant herb. Originally from Europe and Asia, minty, lemony, potent catnip — Nepeta cataria — has long been associated with cats. Even its Latin-derived name, cataria, means “of a cat.” And research shows that cats big and small adore this weedy, invasive member of the mint family. But why do they like catnip so much? Is it safe? And what does it mean if your cat doesn’t like it? You...

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