Pet Mews and Woofs from Around the World: January 31, 2020
By Sierra Koester
There are some really heartwarming stories in this week’s edition of Pet Mews and Woofs – a cat lover with dementia gets his dying wish, a bride and groom feature adoptable dogs in their wedding, dogs are saving koalas in Australia, and a cat without ears finds a forever home! You can also read about a new fitness tracker for cats, a super high-tech new litter box, and Puerto Rico’s shelter dogs finding homes in the U.S.
Lady in a Fur Coat is a beautiful gray tabby cat who has no ears. She was brought to a Wisconsin Humane Society in December and began treatment for chronic ear infections and hematomas.
Veterinarians eventually decided it was best to remove the cat’s outer ear flaps to ease her pain. However, this left Lady looking a bit unusual. Employees worried that Lady wouldn’t be adopted, so one of them decided to crochet her an ear bonnet. It took some coaxing and a lot of treats, but Lady adapted to her bonnet. Just hours after the Humane Society posted photos of the adorable Lady with her new “ears,” she was adopted!
Thousands of firefighters are battling the wildfires in Australia, and dogs are lending them a helping paw. TATE Animal Training Enterprises specializes in providing detector dog services in Sydney, and their dogs have already saved dozens of koalas from the wildfires.
The detector dogs can sniff out koala fur on good days. On more challenging days, such as those with high winds, the dogs look for koala poop to determine where the bears have been. Humans can then search the trees in the area.
Dogs from other organizations have also been flown in to help the rescue efforts. Koalas are essential to Australian wildlife, but they are in danger of becoming extinct. It’s estimated that over one million animals and 25 people have died and more than 2,000 homes have been destroyed in the wildfires thus far.
Fitness trackers for humans come in all shapes and sizes. They can provide you information about your heart rate, how well you’re sleeping, and how many steps you’re walking each day. Fitness trackers are also available for pets, and the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) featured a new one for cats, the PurrSong Pendant.
The idea behind the PurrSong Pendant is to collect data about your cat’s sleeping and activity levels so you can notice when he breaks his routine, which could indicate illness. The tracker could potentially help you identify changes in routine sooner than observation alone, allowing you to get your cat to your veterinarian promptly.
The lightweight Pendant attaches to your cat’s collar and a charge lasts for a month. Although not yet available, the company will be releasing the tracker later this year for a projected price of around $100.
The PurrSong Pendant wasn’t the only new piece of technology for cats showcased at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show. LuluPet, a company based in Taiwan, claims it has the world’s first litter box to have built-in urine and stool image recognition that analyzes your cat’s output. The litter box can even distinguish between the output of different cats in a multi-cat home.
How does it work? LuluPet’s litter box has a built-in camera and infrared and weight sensors to determine whether your cat’s output is urine or stool. The images of your cat’s stool are compared to other cats’ stool in LuluPet’s database to determine if it’s normal.
The purpose of the litter box is to help cat owners determine when something might be amiss with their kitty. If your cat’s stool looks abnormal, you’ll receive an alert via an app. The litter box’s camera even allows you to watch your cat do his business in real-time. The litter box is both Alexa and Google Home enabled, and is set to go on sale on Amazon in March, for $149.
Heather Pavlich and Adam Peterson love dogs so much they decided to make them an integral part of their wedding. Pavlich had each of her five bridesmaids escorted down the aisle by an adoptable dog from a local rescue. Pavlich wanted to have the dogs in her wedding to boost their chances of getting adopted.
Robert Wyatt, 88, was a cat lover who had adopted dozens of cats throughout his lifetime. Sadly, Wyatt was permanently hospitalized in August last year after he’d had dementia for a decade. Wyatt really missed having a cat in his life and told his daughter that it was his dying wish. She gave her dad a robotic kitty that feels, looks, and acts like a real cat. This robotic cat is specifically designed to bring comfort to those with dementia.
Wyatt believed the robotic cat was real, and his face lit up the first time he held it. He named his kitty Buddy and snuggled it daily before he passed away peacefully, with the kitty in his arms.
Puerto Rico has been plagued by earthquakes over the past month and their infrastructure, buildings, and homes have suffered serious damage as a result. Sadly, many animals have been lost or abandoned, and Puerto Rico’s municipal shelters are full and reporting a 90% kill rate.
As part of a collaboration between the Sato Project and Wings of Rescue, dogs are being brought to the northeastern United States in order to have a chance at finding forever homes. Forty dogs recently made their way to New Jersey and will be taken to local shelters for checkups. Once cleared, the dogs will be available for adoption; many of them will be available through St. Hubert’s Animal Wellness Center located in Madison.
Have you heard any interesting pet news lately? Please share the stories in the comments section!
Read more articles by Sierra Koester