pet news

AUGUST 27, 2014

Fun, food and Fido:  Walk to Save Animals and PetFest offers family- and dog-friendly fun while saving lives

State’s largest no-kill shelter raising funds to give more homeless pets a second chance;  Event will feature Tillman, the skateboarding bulldog
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What:     Walk to Save Animals, a family- and dog-friendly event to benefit the Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA, the state's oldest and largest no-kill shelter. The event includes 2K & 5K pet walks and a PetFest featuring dog agility demonstrations, training advice, pet photos with Santa, adoptable dogs, and up-close interactions with exotic pet ambassadors from the AAWL & SPCA Education Department.

tillmanBack by popular demand will be Tillman the bulldog, who has become a national phenomenon and will show off his speed and agility on a skateboard for the crowd. The event also includes live music,  other entertainment, vendors, a kids’ zone with bounce houses, face painting, games and prizes, and a food court.

When: Sat., Nov. 8, 2014, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Where: Tempe Beach Park at Tempe Town Lake

aawl petfest
Cost: Raise or donate a minimum of $30 to participate in the walk.
Individuals and organizations can form walk teams and raise money through pledges.

Admission to the PetFest is free.

Register online at

For more information about the event, call 480-423-1511 or email

AUGUST 27, 2014

Dangers of dogs riding in pickup truck beds

You may see it quite often as you're driving around town: dogs riding in the back of trucks. You might even know someone who does it. Why not? It seems so convenient to just load your dog up in the back and take them with you.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, 100,000 dogs are killed each year in accidents involving riding in truck beds. In addition, veterinarians see numerous cases of dogs being injured because they jumped out or were thrown from the bed of a pickup truck. If these dogs are lucky enough to still be alive, broken legs and joint injuries are among the most common types of damage that they sustain and often result in amputation. There are many dangers of having your four-legged friend loose in the bed of a truck while you're ramming the roads.

Ear & Nose Damage
This may not have even occurred to you, since dogs always have a tendency to stick their heads out the window of a moving vehicle to smell all of those new smells on the open road. But being in the open air traveling at high speeds (whether their head is out the window or they're in the back of the truck) can likely cause damage to the delicate parts of their face. The swirling of the air currents in the bed of a pickup truck can cause dirt, debris and insects to become lodged in the dog's eyes, ears, and nose.

Being Ejected from the Truck
We've all had to slam on our brakes while we're driving at some point; it's inevitable. Now imagine slamming on your brakes while your beloved dog is in the truck bed. He's going to get a serious jolt and it's possible that he could fly right out of the bed and into the road. You also run the risk of getting into an accident while you're traveling with your precious cargo which could also force him out of the bed. And if you think that securing him with a rope or chain is any better, you're wrong. There have been cases where dogs were thrown out of the back of the truck while still attached and being dragged on the road while the owner is still driving. Talk about a nightmare situation.

Jumping Ship
Even if you don't slam on your brakes or get into an accident, your dog may have plans of her own. Does your dog get easily distracted by squirrels, dogs, or other animals? Who's to say she's not going to willingly jump out in order to better investigate a situation? How long would it take you to realize she's gone? How will you be able to protect her from getting hit by other cars or straying too far away while you're in the driver's seat?

What are the Laws?
In February of 2009, Senator Norman Stone Jr's bill to ban riding around with dogs in truck beds was defeated on the Senate 30-17. Although the bill was passed by the House unanimously in 2008, some Senators questioned whether or not it was a real problem. Others worried that farmers would be unable to ride with their dogs, leading to a lot of unhappy dogs.

There are, however, a number of individual states that have banned this type of pet travel and other states have bills pending.

What's the Alternative?
Even though it's not against the law in all 50 states, traveling with dogs in the bed of your pickup trucks should never be an option. The Humane Society of the U.S. notes that they don't know of any brand of harness that is safe for the back of the truck. It's best to have the dog in the cab with you, and if it's an extended cab, the dog should be restrained in the back and away from the windshield. For trucks, pet travel crates, pet safety belts, and pet car seats are the safest bets. And if none of these are available to you at the time you're taking your truck (or any vehicle), consider keeping your dog safe at home.

About is the #1 online resource for pet travel.