Archive for the ‘News & Tips’ Category

We have made our donation to the Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support, which is made up of three Japanese animal welfare groups, Animal Friends Niigata, Japan Cat Network, and HEART-Tokushima, who have coordinated their relief efforts for animals in the wake of the multiple disasters there.

On of all places there’s a great story about their operations:
“We want to take those pets and hopefully reunite them with their families once the families can figure out what they want to do,” said David Wybenga of Japan Cat Network.

There are more than 10,000 people still missing since the quake, and ensuring food and shelter for humans remains an enormous challenge, let alone animals.

But Wybenga says they’re not trying to say that animals are more important than people. “We just don’t want animals to be forgotten,” he said.

JEARS provides shelter for lost animals, and food and water to owners, some whom are camped out at shelters.

For some survivors, pets have been their lifeline. And remarkable stories of pets defying the odds have provided a glimpse of hope, amid all the disaster. For example, the tear-jerking video of the dog that refused to leave his hurt friend became an instant Internet sensation. The two dogs survived the tsunami after they broke free of the ropes that tied them to a shed, and according to local reports have been rescued.

But many animal rescuers in Japan say that these incredible stories are rare.

Click here to read the complete article.

We hope to be able to donate more by the end of the month and hope you will do you whatever you can as well.

Desperately in need of some good news about Japan, we found the following on and wanted to share:

While international relief organizations are pouring into Japan to help people after the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami, a handful of animal welfare groups are pulling together to take care of the nation’s displaced pets.

Japan is a country that loves pets so it is no surprise that rescue groups have teamed up to help the estimated thousands of cats, dogs and other animals that were injured or left homeless after the quake.

Assisting pets after a natural disaster is nothing new for Animal Refuge Kansai (ARK). The organization which has locations in Tokyo and Osaka took in 600 animals after the Great Hanshin earthquake in 1995.

Elizabeth Oliver who chairs the group said, “Here at ARK we are preparing for what might be a huge influx of animals. We already have some facilities in place and a team of experienced staff able to deal with traumatised animals. We may have to build emergency shelters as well.”

Ms. Oliver explained that rescuing many of the animals will be more difficult than the previous earthquake.

“The logistics of getting animals from the Tohoku/Sendai area is immense since roads and other transport links have been cut and may take time to restore. Our only means to get animals down to Osaka may be by helicopter, which was one method we used after the Kobe earthquake.”

Three other rescue groups have joined together to save animals.

Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support is a collaboration of 3 No-Kill animal welfare organizations in Japan: HEART – Tokushima, Animal Friends Niigata and Japan Cat Network. The coalition quickly joined forces after the disaster struck.

Japan Cat Network posted on their website, “We are all greatly saddened and have been continually horrified by news of the devastation, following the recent earthquake here in Japan. We, the kitties at the JCN Kansai shelter, and the shelter itself, are all fine. However, we remain very concerned about the animals in the severely affected areas who may be overlooked in the midst of so much immediate need to address human concerns. We are working with two other no-kill organizations to coordinate plans for getting animals from these areas out to safety, and have already begun helping people with pets in crisis.”

Organizations outside of Japan are coming to the aid of injured and homeless pets. World Veterinary Association, a nonprofit organization that provides global veterinary care has sent a first-responder team to treat animals.

The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) is sending their own team of veterinarians on Tuesday. Their goal is to help pets whose families can’t take care of them while they are being housed in temporary emergency shelters.

Dr. Ian Dacre and Dr. Damian Woodberry from WSPA are both veterans at saving animals after natural disasters.

The vets also have a meeting with the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to save wildlife caught in the aftermath of the quake and tsunami.

WSPA is coordinating their efforts with Kanagawa Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – another Japanese based organization.

And as with every disaster, heroes from the Search Dog Foundation are already on the ground with six Canine Disaster Search Teams locating people who are trapped in fallen buildings and other debris.


Please consider making a donation to one of these wonderful animal rescue organizations today!

In light of natural disasters, and the devastating destruction and human suffering we’re witnessing in Japan this week, it seems superficial to speak of things like pet portraits. So please instead help us help non-profit organization, “Dog Bless You,” raise funds to send search and rescue dogs to Japan.

All you have to do is go to their Facebook fan page and “Like” them. if 100,000 people ‘Like’ the Dog Bless You Facebook fan page in the next 10 days, the Annenberg Foundation will fund $100,000 to relief efforts following the devastating tsunami in Japan. If that number is reached by Sunday, the donation doubles to $200,000. You can read more about the plan on MSNBC’s TechnoLog.


So please visit Dog Bless You on Facebook anc click on Like – btw, their mission is To Champion the Selfless Acts of Animals, so what’s NOT to Like?


Then maybe share it on your Facebook page too!


Many, many, many times over the years we have had many conversations with clients who have black dogs or cats about getting good quality photos – it’s not easy. So when we saw this on Gizmodo we found it interesting that it’s such a widespread issue!

We frequently have photos like this one submitted for consideration.

This one in particular however was not submitted by one of our clients, it is part of a collection for an entire book dedicated to the issue now available called, In Almost Every Picture #9 Black Dog. It chronicles one family’s struggle in capturing their black pup’s face over the years. It’s the ninth book in a series of hilarious amateur photography-plights.

Perhaps, we’ll recommend it to future clients or pick up a copy for ourselves so we can better advise them. In the meantime, we do have a section dedicated to it on our Photo Tips page:

A special note if your pet is black or very dark colored, their dark fur may absorb the light and, when photographed they may look like a black blob in the picture. This is why front light is best for shooting animals whose coats are black or very dark brown, to help provide contrast. Solid white or very light colored fur can pose the opposite but equal challenges, as the detail and contrast of their features may get washed out by too much light, so try some shots with and without the flash to see which works best.

We are also always willing to work with clients as much as it takes to get a photo pf their black pet that’s ideal for an awesome original portrait. Like this one..


Wow, another New Year… sorry we’ve been a little out of touch, we always need a little time to recover after the holiday hecticness around here. But now lets start 2011 with something awesome, our favorite… Animal Rescue Stories! Just click the headlines below to read the entire stories, which all have happy endings..

Firefighters save deer floating out to sea on ice


A terrified deer has been rescued by firefighters in Poland after drifting out to sea on a chunk of ice.
The deer is thought to have became stranded on a floe when it ran onto ice near the village of Ustronie Morskie after being scared by dogs.
Luckily passersby spotted it drifting around 200 meters from the shore in the Baltic Sea and called fire services who launched a successful rescue mission.

Firefighters rescue dog from frigid Charles River

Boston firefighters saved a black Labrador retriever known as Trooper from drowning in the Charles River Tuesday night, Fire Department officials said.
Firefighters received a call about a dog in the river around 8 p.m. They rushed to the scene, and Lieutenant Vincent Dimino of Ladder 11, wearing a survival suit that was tethered to the shore by a rope, swam out about 45 feet to the dog.

“The dog was going under repeatedly, so he put a bear hug around the dog and then the firefighters pulled him to shore.”

Dramatic FDNY Kitten Rescue Yesterday

..we’ve never actually seen a firetruck arrive on the scene to help a cat stuck in a tree, but staffers at Assemblyman Joe Lentol’s office stood by yesterday as firefighters helped a kitten out of a wall.

And in case you’re interested, the kitten is now at Brooklyn Animal Resource Coalition (BARC), a no-kill animal shelter in North Williamsburg, waiting to be adopted.

Here’s hoping 2011 has a happy ending for all of you – and hoping fewer animals require rescuing!

Since it’s obvious that most people like to wait until the very last minute to do their Christmas shopping (Btw, if you procrastinators are still wondering about a custom pet portrait check our Holiday Ordering page – if we can help you we will!), we thought it might be helpful to know when specifically the last minute is to do your shipping!

Did you know its varies a lot between the major shippers? The dates below were posted by Gizmodo:


Ye Olde US Postal service has a handy list of deadlines to ensure your extremely considerate and

reasonably priced gifts reach their recipients by Christmas Day:

First Class Mail: Dec 20
Priority Mail: Dec 21
Express Mail: Dec 22
Parcel Post: Dec 15

So if you’re extremely tardy (or forgot about a poor neglected aunt), you’ll have up until the 23rd to save face.


FedEx Express packages can be handed off up until the 23rd, giving you some super radical proscratination, should you need it.

FedEx Ground or Home deliveries, however, will need to be turned in by the 17th (or 13th, if you’re shipping to or from Hawaii or Alaska)

From FedEx’s own “Last Day to Ship” chart, however, it does appear that there’s a hail mary, same-day shipping option for the 25th. But that better be the greatest gift of all time, or the antidote to some flesh-eating bacteria, to justify what we imagine is a pretty steep shipping fee there.


If you want your box of cheer to arrive by the Big Day via UPS, you’ll have up until the 23rd to use next day air.

Merry Shipping!

There’s no question that microchip technology for pets was an amazing advancement in helping to recover lost animals and get them home. But there are some drawbacks. For example, it will only be of help if your missing dog or cat ends up in a shelter or a vet’s office where they will have access to a scanner. And even then there are multiple manufacturers of chips and scanners so not all scanners work on all chips. Plus there have been some medical reports of tumors forming at the injection site for the chip.

Did you know that now there’s a new concept in lost pet tracking that avoids these issues and guarantees they can help you find your lost pet in six hours? Smart Tags is a network that works for you when your dog or cat goes missing notifying area shelters and vets and shelters, and providing a central contact point for anyone who locates your pet.

You just set up an online profile with your pet’s description, medical requirements, photos, and of course all your contact information. Then as soon as you report your pet missing they spring into action and provide an instant search party!

All your pet needs to do is wear their rather attractive tag – in your choice of style. Or better yet, order the one with Best Friends Animal Society logo on it and they receive a donation of 25% of the proceeds.

Check it out, there’s a great informational video on their site. And keep in mind 90% of lost pets that are returned home are wearing a tag!

We found this article in the Parade magazine in Sunday’s paper and wanted to share it.. California is proposing a progressive bill that would require those convicted of felony animal abuse to register, just like sex offenders. What do you think?

Should the public know if a convicted animal abuser lives or works next door? A bill before the California legislature would require adults convicted of felony animal abuse to register with local law enforcement; their names would be placed in a database similar to the national sex offenders’ registry. Tennessee, Louisiana, and New York are also considering animal-abuse registries.

“We’re trying to reduce risk,” says Stephan Otto of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, noting that animal abusers are five times more likely to commit violent crimes against humans and four times more likely to commit property crimes than those without a history of violence against animals.

The registry would include people convicted of maiming, mutilating, torturing, or killing animals, as well as pet hoarders and operators of animal-fighting rings.

“To me, the bill seems like overkill,” says California State Sen. Bob Huff, adding that he’s wary of putting animal abuse and child abuse on a legal par. Huff also worries that fines imposed on animal abusers won’t bring in enough revenue to cover the costs of the registry.

Alison Gianotto, a New York Web developer, started a volunteer pet-abuse database after her neighbor’s cat was kidnapped and set on fire in 2001. At a cost of about $10,000 per year, now tracks nearly 16,000 accused or convicted animal abusers. Gianotto says government officials need to do more “to help the public understand that animal cruelty is everywhere, even in their own backyards.”

If you would like to offer your opinion on whether animal abusers should have to register, click here. Thus far, 89% say YES, while only 11% say NO.

For a few days now we’ve been posting on Twitter and Facebook about Paco, a little dog lost in Mexico City by Delta Airlines. It was first reported by The Consumerist, then today  it has come to the attention of the media, including CNN’s Anderson Cooper:

Losing luggage is one thing, but how could an airline misplace a dog?

A Canadian man claimed his pet disappeared after he checked the animal with Delta Airlines for a flight from Mexico City to Detroit.

Josiah Allen, of Ontario, told the that Delta offered him an apology and a $200 credit for future Delta travel.

“I think that this is completely absurd,” Allen wrote to “There is no excuse for this kind of situation to take place.”

Allen said he and his girlfriend rescued the stray dog while on vacation last month in Puerto Vallarta.

“We took him to the vet’s, got him all of his shots, an eye infection treated, two baths to clean him from hundreds of dog ticks that were covering his whole body, and gave him the name Paco,” Allen said.

According to Allen, the nightmare began when the couple attempted to check Paco with Delta for their connecting flight to Detroit. Allen said a Delta agent told them the pet carrier they purchased for Paco was not big enough. He added that the airline only accepted the carrier after he and his girlfriend signed a waiver releasing Delta of any liability if Paco was injured.

Allen said he and his girlfriend arrived in Detroit where they waited for Paco at the pet claim for about twenty minutes. Eventually, according to Allen, a Delta employee informed the couple that the dog was not at the airport and in fact had never been boarded on the plane in Mexico City….

To read the full story click here. Then find out what you can do; sign a petition, send them an email, or even boycott Delta!

We are certainly no financial experts here and would never consider giving out any investment advice or stock tips, but that’s exactly what the folks at do. And they put together a list of great stocks for animal lovers to invest in as Pet Stocks continue to thrive even in this down economy:

It’s said that a dog is a man’s best friend, but he could also be your best investment. Pet stocks — those companies that cater to the health and happiness of your furry companion — is arguably the hottest growth market going.

Indeed, amid the greatest consumer downturn of this generation, the pet industry managed to grow 5.4% in 2009 to $45.5 billion, according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA). “Pet suppliers offer more compelling growth prospects than most retail categories,” Morningstar analyst R.J. Hottovy, wrote in a note. And it doesn’t seem like this momentum will slow any time soon, with APPA predicting another 5% jump in 2010.

According to the APPA, 63% of U.S. households own pets, and it’s a number that’s poised to expand, as the trend of humanizing pets has also boosted the sector. Service-based businesses like dog walkers, pooper-scoopers, trainers and even massage-therapists are booming, while day care, pet walking and pet sitting all continue to be in high demand.

Within the sector, the more reliable pet plays are those companies that provide veterinary and animal-health products; while consumers might delay purchasing a new chew-bone for their pup, or might stock up on a cheaper brands of biscuits, they won’t deny medical care to their beloved pet.

In 2009 health-care spending on pets surged 8.5%, as medical advances generated a greater range of services available. “From CAT scans, root canals and cancer surgery, to antibiotics, anti-depressants and even grief counseling, pet owners have more medical choices and spending options than ever before,” the APPA said. The association expects this sector to increase 6% in 2010.

Still, with such a litter of pet-centric companies to choose from — and still others with smaller animal divisions — how can the investor sort through them all?…

Click here to read on and get the complete list of companies they recommend to set up your Pet Portfolio!