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35-pound cat named Symba seeking forever home

Staff at the Humane Rescue Alliance in the nation’s capital say they’ve seen a lot, but Symba is a first.

The 35-pound orange tabby cat is drawing lots of attention on social media.

>> Read more trending news

Symba is six years old, sweet, mellow and available for adoption, according to Humane Rescue Alliance officials. They posted photos of the portly feline on their social media pages on Thursday. The cat will need owners who are dedicated to helping the overweight cat shed some pounds. 

The cat's weight loss regimen has already started. In a tweet posted by the Humane Rescue Alliance, Simba is introduced to an exercise wheel, where he gingerly takes a few steps before taking a break.

Woman disguises grandmother's dog as baby to smuggle it into hospital for visit

When her grandmother was recently hospitalized, Shelby Hennick of California did what any good granddaughter would doShe smuggled her grandma’s dog into the hospital, People reports.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

Despite a hospital rule banning animals, Hennick knew how much her grandmother had been missing the little ruffian, named Patsy. Grandma had been in the hospital for three days due to an adverse reaction to a medication and missed Patsy dearly.

>> See the photos here

So Hennick wrapped up the small dog and held it in such a way – underneath a large blanket slung over one shoulder – that it looked like she was carrying a baby. This allowed Hennick to sneak the dog into her grandmother’s hospital room with the hospital staff none the wiser.

>> Read more trending news

The plan went off perfectly, and judging from these pictures of grandma reunited with her dog, Hennick’s gesture was greatly appreciated.

Dog dies of heat stroke after being left outdoors for hours in extreme heat 

Animal Control in Wallingford, Connecticut, is issuing a warning after a dog died after being let outside and left for hours in extreme heat Monday.

>> Read more trending news

“One of our shelter alumnus was left outside by the family’s nanny yesterday for several hours without water,” Wallingford Animal Control said in a Tuesday Facebook post. “Sadly, when the dog's owners returned home from work, they found her lifeless body in the yard. They rushed her to the veterinarian, who tragically confirmed she had suffered and died from heat stroke.”

Temperatures in the city reached into the 90s Monday, according to a post by the shelter.

“This was a young healthy dog,” Wallingford Animal Control Officer Katie Ehlers told WTNH. “So if you take another dog like a senior dog, let’s say, or a dog like a brachycephalic dog like our pugs or French Bulldogs -- those dogs are gonna be more susceptible to the heat.”

“Although we have not yet been able to question the person responsible for leaving the dog out for an extended period in this heat, all we know is that she died a painful and agonizing death,” the organization said in the post.

“This dog was loved VERY much by her family. She was extremely well cared for and adored. We do not blame the adopters for this tragic event. However, the bottom line is that this pup lost her life, and it was 110% preventable.”

According to The Humane Society of the United States, pets can be cooled inside out with dog friendly popsicles, water, and cooling body wraps. Dogs should never be left in parked cars and exercise on hot days should be limited. Dog owners should provide adequate shade and water when their pets are outside and not rely on a fan to cool pets down. Humidity should also be monitored.

Signs of heatstroke in animals include heavy panting, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting; a rapid heartbeat, glazed eyes, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy and fever. Very young or very old animals, overweight animals, as well as ones with short muzzles and with respiratory or heart disease, are at a higher risk for heat stroke.

United Pet Group recalls 5 brands of rawhide dog chews

United Pet Group has issued a voluntary recall for multiple brands of rawhide dog chew products that were distributed to retail outlets and sold online in the U.S. 

The recall – which covers the brands American Beefhide, Digest-eeze, Healthy Hide, Healthy Hide Good-n-Fun and Healthy Hide Good-n-Fit – was issued after United Pet Group identified that certain rawhide chew manufacturing facilities located in Mexico and Columbia, and one its suppliers in Brazil, were using an ammonium compound mixture as a processing aid in the making of the rawhide chews.

The compound is an anti-microbial chemical that is approved for cleaning food processing equipment, but it has not been approved in the U.S. as a processing aid in the production of rawhide chews for dogs.

This recall is limited to dog chew products that contain rawhide. Only products with lot codes listed on the back of the package that start with AH, AV, A, AI, AO, or AB and which list expiration dates from 06/01/2019 through 05/31/2020 are affected by this recall. This includes all package sizes and/or weights.

>> Click here to read the full recall announcement on the FDA website

The primary complaint received was that the affected product had an unpleasant odor. Diarrhea and vomiting were also reported from owners.

Exposure to quaternary ammonium compounds through direct ingestion may cause the following symptoms in dogs: reduced appetite, and gastric irritation including diarrhea and vomiting. 

>> Read more trending news

The affected product was distributed nationwide from United Pet Group’s Edwardsville, Illinois, distribution facility. All of the dog chew products included in the voluntary recall identify an expiration date ranging from 06/01/2019 through 05/31/2020 located on the back of the package.

Consumers who have purchased the products described above are urged to dispose of the product or return it directly to United Pet Group or to the retail establishment where they initially purchased the product for full refund.

United Pet Group recalls 5 brands of rawhide dog chews

United Pet Group has issued a voluntary recall for multiple brands of rawhide dog chew products that were distributed to retail outlets and sold online in the U.S. 

The recall – which covers the brands American Beefhide, Digest-eeze, Healthy Hide, Healthy Hide Good-n-Fun and Healthy Hide Good-n-Fit – was issued after United Pet Group identified that certain rawhide chew manufacturing facilities located in Mexico and Columbia, and one its suppliers in Brazil, were using an ammonium compound mixture as a processing aid in the making of the rawhide chews.

The compound is an anti-microbial chemical that is approved for cleaning food processing equipment, but it has not been approved in the U.S. as a processing aid in the production of rawhide chews for dogs.

This recall is limited to dog chew products that contain rawhide. Only products with lot codes listed on the back of the package that start with AH, AV, A, AI, AO, or AB and which list expiration dates from 06/01/2019 through 05/31/2020 are affected by this recall. This includes all package sizes and/or weights.

>> Click here to read the full recall announcement on the FDA website

The primary complaint received was that the affected product had an unpleasant odor. Diarrhea and vomiting were also reported from owners.

Exposure to quaternary ammonium compounds through direct ingestion may cause the following symptoms in dogs: reduced appetite, and gastric irritation including diarrhea and vomiting. 

>> Read more trending news

The affected product was distributed nationwide from United Pet Group’s Edwardsville, Illinois, distribution facility. All of the dog chew products included in the voluntary recall identify an expiration date ranging from 06/01/2019 through 05/31/2020 located on the back of the package.

Consumers who have purchased the products described above are urged to dispose of the product or return it directly to United Pet Group or to the retail establishment where they initially purchased the product for full refund.

Pet owners warned as highly contagious dog flu spreads after dog show

Officials are warning about the dog flu after five confirmed cases in Georgia.

The new strain was apparently spread by out-of-state dogs at a dog show in Houston County last month.

>> Read more trending news

Veterinarians said the dog flu is so contagious that a dog can sneeze 20 feet away from another dog and pass it or people can spread it by petting another dog.

“It can easily be transferred from one city to another, simply because of a plane flight or a car ride,” Dr. Cary Mackey said.

Mackey’s clinic is stocking up on vials of the dog flu vaccine, which may soon be administered all around the metro. 

Related: 5 things to know about dog flu

“It may not offer full protection, but if the dog gets infected, it should help prevent severe symptoms of the flu in your pets,” she said.

A growing number of pet owners are getting their dogs vaccinated and state officials are spreading the word that the flu is out there. 

“(It can spread in) shelters, kennels, things like that where you have a lot of dogs collected in one place,” Assistant State Veterinarian Dr. Janemarie Hennebelle said. 

Officials advise dog owners to be on the lookout for dogs that are sneezing or coughing. They said the flu can make dogs sick, but it is not usually fatal. 

“Very rarely is this fatal, but unfortunately there have been a few patients that have passed away due to the flu and side effects of being infected,” Mackey said.

Nearly 200 at-risk dogs, cats flown to Pacific Northwest to find ‘forever’ homes

Nearly 200 at-risk dogs and cats have been flown to the Pacific Northwest so they can find forever homes.

The animals were saved from overcrowded California and Texas shelters that planned to euthanize the dogs.

>> Read more trending news

Most shelters in Washington state have a no-kill policy.

A total of 103 dogs on a flight Wednesday into Paine Field in Snohomish County. They were then taken to shelters, including the Humane Society of Tacoma and Pierce County, the Kitsap Humane Society and the Seattle Humane Society. 

Another 100 or so cats arrived Thursday afternoon from Dallas. Now, the goal is to find the animals homes where they can spend the rest of their lives.

The animals were flown to Washington with the help of Wings of Rescue, GreaterGood and Freekibble,

“Most of these dogs and cats won’t survive if they don’t make this flight,” Freekibble wrote on its Facebook page.

Wings of Rescue is an alternative to a traditional shelter system. The organization has the lives of more than 20,000 animals and flew 400 animals just this week.

Video of a rescue at Boeing Field, from Wings of Rescue, can be seen below.

Dog that calls storm drain home concerns neighbors

Residents are concerned about a dog that has been living in a storm drain in a Texas neighborhood for six months, fearing that animal control is not moving quickly enough to rescue the pup.

The dog, which has been named Cassie by neighbors, is a German shepherd mix that weighs 60 to 70 pounds, according to WFAA. Residents have filed numerous reports to Grand Prairie Animal Services about the dog. Recent heavy rains have raised fears for the dog's safety.

>> Read more trending news

Grand Prairie Animal Services told WFAA that it is actively working to rescue the dog. It said the dog is not stuck in the sewer drain, but comes and goes and considers the drain its home. Attempts at catching the dog have failed, but one neighbor has built up enough trust to hand feed the dog. Animal Services is asking residents for patience as it works to move the dog to a better place.

VIDEO: Florida mom lets snake bite baby to 'teach a lesson'

A Highlands County, Florida, mother is under fire after posting a video to Facebook that shows a rat snake biting her 1-year-old daughter. 

>> Watch the news report here

The mother said that she has “no regrets” after she let the snake intentionally bite the child several times, WFTS reports. 

"It had bitten me and my son and didn't leave a mark, several times," she said to WFTS. "So, I thought it was a good opportunity to introduce her without actually getting hurt."

>> Read more Floridoh! stories 

The Facebook video has been removed and the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident, according to WFTS. 

In the video the mother holds up a container with a rat snake inside and lets her daughter reach toward the snake. You can hear the daughter flinch and cry each time the snake strikes her. 

>> Read more trending news

The mother said her daughter was not hurt because the snake has teeth “too small to actually puncture the skin,” WFTS reports. Her intention was to teach her child a “valuable lesson” on how to handle reptiles, she said to WFTS. 

Read more here.

Troopers rescue dog stuck in tree

A dachshund hunting for groundhogs ended up getting stuck in a tree.

Fortunately for Rocco and his owner, two Kentucky State Police troopers were nearby and came to his rescue. The incident was captured on the agency's Facebook page.

>> Read more trending news

Sergeant Michael Williams and Trooper Gerick Sullivan were off-duty, mowing a cemetery Thursday when they heard a dog barking. After searching for several minutes in a wooded area adjacent to the cemetery, they stumbled upon Rocco, whose head was poking out of the trunk of a tree.

Troopers said the dog followed a groundhog hole and ended up getting stuck in the tree. The Salem Fire Department was called to assist in the rescue, which required cutting a portion of the tree.

The troopers reunited Rocco with his owner.

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