New in the neighborhood
A grand opening celebration was held on Nov. 8 for the newest Casey Ray’s STL Dog Trainers location, 16528 Manchester Road in Wildwood Crossing.
A graduate of the National K-9 School for Dog Trainers, Casey Ray has been training dogs in the St. Louis metro area for more than 10 years using his “Balanced Training” philosophy, which emphasizes the use of veterinarian-recommended obedience training, behavioral modification, dog psychology and overall education. Ray founded his business based on the understanding that dogs and their owners achieve their greatest success through training programs designed for their individual needs.
Located in a 2,800-square-foot facility, Casey Ray’s STL Dog Trainers offers a range of services, including complimentary one-on-one evaluations, Stay-and Learn packages, private lessons and Lifetime Group classes. The new training center is the second in the area; the first, located at 14020 Manchester Road in Ballwin, opened last year.
For more information, visit caseyraystl.com.
Master, it’s cold outside!
Frigid temperatures arrived early this year, so now is a good time to review information regarding cold weather safety for pets.
These tips are from City of St. Louis Animal Care and Control:
• Do not leave pets unattended outdoors when the temperature drops below freezing (32 degrees F). Frostbite is a threat to animals exposed to harsh, cold weather.
• Never leave a pet unattended in a car during cold weather. Cars hold in cold like a refrigerator, and a pet can freeze to death.
• Keep pets away from antifreeze, which is lethal to pets even in tiny doses. Be sure to promptly clean up any antifreeze spills, as animals are attracted to its sweet taste.
• Keep cats indoors. Cats can crawl into a warm car engine for shelter and can be seriously injured or killed when the car is started. Check under the hood before starting your car in the winter to chase away any hidden cats or other wildlife.
• Wipe off pets’ paws, legs and stomachs after being out in snow or ice. Any salt or other de-icing chemicals swallowed by licking can make a pet sick.
• If a dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type (small or short-haired), take it outdoors only long enough to relieve itself. Remember that puppies do not tolerate cold as well as adult dogs.
• Never let a dog off-leash in snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm. Dogs often lose their scent in snow and ice and easily can become lost.
Another tip, provided by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), is to refrain from shaving dogs down to the skin in winter, because a longer coat will provide warmth. After bathing a dog during colder months, make sure it is completely dry before taking it for a walk. Dress short-haired breeds in a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck that provides coverage from the base of the tail to the belly.
Pet calendars for a cause
Calendars that benefit animal welfare organizations make great holiday gifts for animal lovers. Here are some options:
• The Stray Rescue of St. Louis 2015 Calendar is $17. To view pages and order, visit strayrescue.org.
• The Rabbit Rescue 2015 Calendar is $17, with discounts offered on purchases of additional quantities. Proceeds benefit rabbit rescue groups nationwide. Visit hrsmostl.org.
• Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) 2015 Celebrity Pet Calendar is available for a $15 donation. Each calendar purchase helps ARF rescue more abandoned pets. To see the celebrity/pet photos and order a calendar, visit arf.net.
• The Second Chances 2015 Calendar is available for $20, with a discount offered for purchases of 10 or more. All proceeds benefit the animals at Five Acres Animal Shelter, the only no-kill animal shelter in St. Charles County. To order, call 949-9918, or visit fiveacresanimalshelter.org.
Pop culture prompts pet purchases
Movies featuring dogs have a strong and enduring effect on the popularity of dog breeds, according to a study recently published in PLOS ONE.
Researchers who compared data from the American Kennel Club (AKC) to 87 movies featuring dogs found the movie releases often were associated with the popularity of featured breeds for as long as 10 years.
For example, in the two years following the 1943 release of “Lassie Come Home,” AKC collie registrations increased by 40 percent. Old English sheepdog registrations increased 100-fold following the release of Disney’s “The Shaggy Dog” in 1959.
Purchases of breeds featured in films surpassed purchases of other breeds that exhibited better temperament and health.
“On the whole, (dog) breeds with more desirable behaviors, greater longevity and fewer inherited genetic disorders did not become more popular than other breeds,” study co-author Hal Herzog said.
Study co-author Dr. Alberto Acerbi said the situation can be unfortunate for dogs.
“If people buy en masse dogs because they appear in movies, the consequences can be negative for the dogs themselves,” Acerbi said, noting that a previous study found dogs of the most popular breeds to have the greatest number of inherited disorders.
While it is not surprising that people follow social cues and fashions when making purchases, he said, “when choosing a new pet, we may want to act differently.”
On the calendar
“Pictures with Santa at the Dog Museum” is from noon-3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 29 at the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog, 1721 S. Mason Road in Town & Country. Dogs have their photos taken with Santa, and photos are available online for purchase. A $5 donation to the Guardian Angel Basset Rescue is requested. Regular museum admission of $5 for adults, $2.50 for seniors and $1 for children applies. Refreshments are served. For more information, visit museumofthedog.org, or call Susan Hurt at (314) 712-2295.
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“Light Up the Future,” the 17th annual Stray Rescue of St. Louis Hope for the Holidays Gala, is from 7-11 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 5 at the Chase Park Plaza, 232 N. Kingshighway. Celebrity guests include cast members from the ABC-TV series “Castle,” Brett Hull and other favorite St. Louis Blues alumni players. Gourmet food, an open bar, live music, silent and live auctions are featured. Tickets are $200 per guest. Call (314) 771-6121, or visit strayrescue.org by Nov. 28.
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“Paws & Claus” is from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 6 near the Brooks Brothers entrance at Taubman Prestige Outlets, 17017 N. Outer 40 Road in Chesterfield. Santa poses with guests’ four-legged friends for a 4×6 photo (one photo per pet). For each photo taken, Taubman will make a donation to the Humane Society of Missouri. Visit taubmanprestigeoutlets.com.
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The “Pet-acular Holiday Bazaar” is from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 13 and Sunday, Dec. 14 at Purina Farms, 200 Checkerboard Drive in Gray Summit. Adoptable pets from local animal welfare organizations; photos with Santa for kids and dogs; shopping for unique holiday gifts; canine flying disc and duck herding demonstrations; and fun games and activities for kids and dogs are featured. Those who bring a dog or cat supply to donate to a local shelter receive free dog treats. Additional attractions include the Kids’ Craft Corner, priced and $5 per child and free for kids younger than 2, and the Breakfast & Craft Workshop with Santa, a ticketed event presented from 9:30-11 a.m. each day. General admission and parking are free. For tickets and more information, call (314) 982-3232, or visit purinafarms.com.