Relief Efforts

I haven’t commented here yet on Hurricane Katrina and the many, many animals that had to be left behind during the evacuations. I think it’s partially because I can’t look at the pictures or read the stories and still get it together enough to form a coherent thought about the whole thing.

So, I won’t attempt to. Instead, I’ll just encourage you to donate some time or money to Noah’s Wish or the HSUS. Don’t forget about the members of the families that had to be left behind.

Also, please read some thoughts from other bloggers who verbalize what I’m thinking better than I can at the moment:

I also want to remind you not to forget your local charities. Non-relief charities were hit particularly hard after September 11th and the tsunami as most of people’s charitable giving was directed at relief efforts. I suspect the same will hold true with this disaster.

Update on Oops I Pooped bags

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Just before writing my previous Oops I Pooped entry, I had ordered a couple boxes of the environmentally-friendly doggie poop bags. They arrived late last week (to my house, because I can’t be receiving poop-related items at work, you know), so we’ve gotten a chance to give them a try a few times over the weekend.

The report: they’re well worth the money. As promised, their dark color hides the contents of the bag. For all anyone knows, I’m carrying a small lunch treat with me as I walk the dog. Also as promised, they help keep the smell in. When sealed tightly and tied off, there is almost no odor, even within a few inches of the bag. I was a bit scared to confirm this, but I’m glad I did.

It may be tough to justify in your mind spending money on bags when you probably get plenty from grocery shopping, but trust me: there’s a world of difference. So recycle those plastic bags and pick up some Oops I Pooped for your favorite four-legged friend.

Oops I Bought Some

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How can you not love a product called Oops I Pooped?

OIP bags are “biodegradable waste bags” for cleaning up after your dog. They completely degrade in a landfill and leave no harmful residue behind, something that can’t be said about those spare plastic bags from the grocery store you’ve been using (and by “you’ve been using” I mean “I’ve been using”). Plus, they’re black, so you won’t have to carry around a nasty see-through plastic bag after your dog’s done her thing.

The nice thing is that these bags are also quite affordable at only $8 for 88 bags. Presumably they don’t need to be double-bagged, so that’s going to come to about $4 a month. Unless your dog poops more than mine does.

I’ve ordered two boxes worth and look forward to trying them out. Hopefully they mask the odor better than regular plastic bags do because man oh man… this morning our trash can was out on the curb and when I walked within ten feet of it I caught a whiff of the nasty scents contained therein.

The Oops I Pooped site’s simple, but fun, and has a cute “infauxmerical” that’s worth checking out.

Portly pets and vegetarian diets

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Time for a link dump to catch up on some stuff in the news. Let’s start with:

Study Reports Increase in Portly Pets

If you haven’t gotten enough of the “America’s so fat!” message recently, here’s a study pointing to the increase in the site of our companion animals. The reason I mention the story, though, is that they mention vegetarian diets for cats and dogs:

Cats, the report notes, are descended from carnivores and their digestive system is designed for absorbing nutrients from animal-based proteins and fats.

Cats should not be fed a vegetarian diet because it could result in harmful deficiencies of certain amino acids, fatty acids, and vitamins, the report stresses.

While dogs prefer animal-based food, they can survive on a vegetarian diet as long as it contains sufficient protein and other nutrients, the report adds.

A question for Veg Blog readers: if you’re vegan or vegetarian and have a cat or dog, what do you feed them? I’d like to hear some different thoughts on if and how vegetarians’ beliefs affect how they raise their pet, especially ethical vegetarians.

The Snuggles Project

Can you crochet, knit, quilt, or sew? If so, why not donate a little time to the Snuggles Project, which makes an effort to donate comfortable blankets to pets kept at animal shelters. It sounds like a great project than can bring some happiness and comfort to the animals locked away while they await adoption (or something else not so pleasant to think about). A full list of participating agencies is included as well as general size guidelines. It sounds like a great program that gives you another way to make a difference in an animal’s life. (via Daily Peril)