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  • Hunky Men + Kittens = 2014 Kittendales Calendar

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres

    Joanne BermanJoanne Berman
    Who needs bowties? Maybe the best accessory for a shirtless man is a kitten.

    Move over, Chippendales dancers. Meet the men of the Kittendales calendar.

    The 2014 edition is the seventh annual calendar featuring "kitties and hotties" to raise money for the Hull Seaside Animal Rescue (HSAR) in Massachusetts. The calendars sell for $20 each, plus $5 shipping and handling in the U.S.

    See Also: Why Does My Cat... Stare at Me?

    Men from this beach town pose for photographer Joanne Berman with kittens who are available for adoption at the non-profit cat shelter. And all of the money raised goes to the no-kill cat shelter and the medical needs of the cats there.

    Joanne Berman -- Model Fabiano poses with adoptable kitten Mai.HSAR was started in 1999 by a group of citizens who were concerned about the large number of feral cat colonies in town. Earlier this year, the group rescued its 1,000 th cat. "This is a 100 percent volunteer project and every penny raised goes directly to the shelter for the care of the cats," said Berman. "We've

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  • TV Star Adopts His Canine Co-Star

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres

    Twitter / CharlesEsten -- Nashville actor Charles Esten adopted his former costar, Blue.Charles Esten fell hard for his co-star - and who could blame him?

    Last week, Esten, who stars as Deacon Claybourne on ABC's Nashville, shared that he's made a yellow Lab who played his dog on the show a permanent part of his real-life family. The actor Tweeted a photo of himself grinning while holding Blue when he was a puppy.

    The pup appeared on the show last season as a gift to Esten's character from Juliette Barnes, who's played by actress Hayden Panettiere. His character then gave the dog away to a love interest, but Esten wasn't about to follow that storyline off the set.

    "'Member Deacon's puppy named Sue? Well now he's my dog ... Blue! #firstpetever #memberofthefamilynow," Esten wrote.

    Esten, his wife, Patty, and their three children recently celebrated Blue's first birthday. "It's extremely possible that my family and I have gone overboard on our dog's birthday," he Tweeted with a picture of the celebration.

    Happy birthday, Blue!


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  • Black Lab Helps Recovering Addicts

    By Caroline Golon

    Photo: Joe Schrank Mik offers many benefits to residents at Loft 107 When new residents arrive at Loft 107, a sober-living facility in Brooklyn, they're greeted by founder Joe Schrank and a friendly black Labrador Retriever named Mik. But Mik's not just the welcome wagon; he's a narcotics detection dog whose job is to make sure residents stay in recovery while they're at Loft 107, and even after they leave.

    A Perfect Match

    Schrank had long explored bringing a dog like Mik to the facility but was wary because of the possible narcotics detection connotation. "The idea is intimidating. People immediately think 'law enforcement,'" says Schrank. "But (Mik's) not looking to 'catch' anyone or call the police. He's there to help."

    See Also: 10 Most High-Maintenance Dog Breeds

    But Schrank also knew that a dog could help him make definitive calls about the presence (or absence) of drugs; an invaluable benefit to the Loft, which serves as a temporary place to stay for people who have already been in rehab but aren't yet comfortable

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  • 8 Cute and Unique Pet Names Named After Famous Places

    By Kristen Seymour

    ThinkstockA great pet name can take inspiration from just about anything: a favorite food, a beloved fictional character, even a funny tongue twister. So it should probably come as no surprise that some pet owners opt for pet names based on locations.

    After digging through Vetstreet's database of more than 89 million dogs and 49 million cats for names that appeared just once, we pulled out a few of our favorite place-based monikers to share with you.

    Got your own fun and unusual pet name? Be sure to share it with us in the comments below!

    * Miss Sippi Sue: The sweet Southern belle is fixin' to get herself a nice belly rub.

    * Zanna Doo: She might not come with a soundtrack and blockbuster budget, but we have a feeling the kitty who owns this name provides endless entertainment. Olivia Newton who?

    * London Lamborghini: You just know this bloke lives life in the fast lane (but probably sleeps snuggled up with his favorite plush toy when nobody's looking).

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  • Vote for New Name of Panda Cub at National Zoo

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres

    The National Zoo is asking for the public's vote to name its 2-month-old panda cub.Election Day may be over, but your vote is still needed here: the National Zoo is asking the public to choose a name for its 2-month-old female giant panda cub.

    From now until Nov. 22, voters can choose from five Mandarin Chinese names for the bear. The winning name will be revealed at a ceremony on Dec. 1, when the cub turns 100 days old. It's Chinese tradition to celebrate when a baby reaches 100 days.

    The names include Bao Bao (bow-BOW), which means precious, treasure; Ling Hua (ling-HWA), meaning darling, delicate flower; Long Yun (long-YOON), long is the Chinese symbol of the dragon, yun means charming, and the combination represents a sign of luck for panda cooperation between China and the U.S.; Mulan (moo-LAHN), for a legendary young woman, a smart and brave Chinese warrior from the fifth century, and it also means magnolia flower; and Zhen Bao (jen-BAO), which means treasure, valuable. - Cast your vote at

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  • How to Stop Your Dog From Having Accidents in the House

    By Mikkel Becker

    ThinkstockQ: I'm gone during the day; most of the time, my dog uses a dog door to go to the bathroom outside on her own, but she still has the occasional indoor accident. I don't know why this is happening or how to handle it - but I feel like she's getting away with bad behavior if I don't punish her. What should I do?

    See Also: 4 Best Household Items That Do Wonders on Pet-Stained Carpets

    A: When a previously house-trained adult dog starts having accidents in the home, I always recommend visiting the veterinarian for a checkup before starting any new training. There may be a medical component to the accidents, such as a urinary tract infection or the onset of canine cognitive dysfunction. Once your vet has eliminated these and any other medical issues, you can begin addressing the cause of the potty accidents and working on solutions.

    However, punishing your dog for her accidents is never a viable solution. Rather than learning that going inside the house is wrong, your dog

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  • Are Dogs Carnivores? Here's What New Research Says

    By Dr. Patty Khuly

    AlamyIn veterinary school we learned that cats are carnivores; horses, rabbits and ruminants are herbivores; and pigs and dogs ­­- like people - are omnivores.

    But at a nutrition conference I attended earlier this month, an audience of 300-plus nutrition researchers and veterinary professionals was treated to a strong argument in favor of dogs as carnivores.

    See Also: 10 Dangerous Human Foods for Pets

    Urging us to rethink the "dogma" of dogs as omnivores, Dr. Wouter Hendriks of Utrecht University's veterinary school in the Netherlands laid out a detailed and ultimately convincing argument in favor of canine carnivorous-ness at the Waltham International Nutritional Sciences Symposium in Portland, Ore.

    But how can that be, you ask? After all, we've been studying the dog's nutritional needs for a hundred years or more now. Why the sudden shift in thinking on something that seems so basic?

    The Omnivore Angle

    The answer is not so simple, but to understand how

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  • 11 Subtle Signs Your Cat is Sick

    By Dr. Patty Khuly

    Cats who used to play regularly with others but now avoid them may be reacting to a serious stressor.Though it might not seem that way to feline aficionados, the veterinary establishment considers cats to be subtle creatures. Indeed, when it comes to displaying signs of sickness, cats are masters of obfuscation and disguise. They simply do not want news of their diminished physical state disseminated.

    It's been postulated that cats unconsciously behave this way so as not to inform predators and competitors of their current weakness. If their true condition was known, their instincts tell them, they'd lose status in their colonies or worse - they might succumb to predators.

    See Also: Why Does My Cat... Bite Me When I Pet Her?

    The Feline Enigma

    Veterinarians are all too aware of this phenomenon. After all, not a clinical day goes by that we're not treated to the case of a patient whose illness mysteriously managed to avoid detection. Which is problematic, of course, given that the sooner they're discovered the less complicated our cats' conditions tend to

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  • Dog Finds Newborn Abandoned in Park

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres

    Police released this image of baby Jade, who was named for her canine hero.A retiree was walking his German Shepherd, Jade, in a park in Birmingham, England, on Thursday afternoon when she suddenly ran toward the bushes, laid down next to a bag that had been left behind, and refused to move.

    When owner Roger Wilday got closer, he realized that the bag was a carrier - with a baby inside. Wilday ran to a friend's house nearby to call the police.

    They brought the 6-pound baby girl to the hospital, where staff members named her for her rescuer, 9-year-old Jade. "Jade's never found anything before," said Wilday's wife, Catherine. "She must have heard the baby crying as these dogs have very good hearing, plus she's very keen on our grandchildren."

    On Friday, West Midlands police, who are searching for the baby's mother, released pictures and video of the "alert, happy and contented" little girl, who's still recovering in the hospital. The Wildays, who have four children and five grandchildren, are hoping to get the chance to visit

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  • Top 11 Couch Potato Dog Breeds

    Prefer a canine pal who will be satisfied to watch the big game with you on the sofa instead of running interference on your neighborhood touch football team? All dogs need some daily exercise, but we showcase a dozen couch-loving canines whose exercise needs can be satisfied with a short stroll or brief indoor playtime.

    BulldogBulldog - Deceptively Sweet and Snuggly (photo credit:
    Robin Burkett, Animal Photography/

    The Bulldog looks cantankerous, but he is a gentle family friend whose exercise needs are manageable for even the most dedicated couch potato. The most important thing to know about Bulldogs is that they are sensitive to heat and should live in air-conditioned comfort. Avoid activity in the heat of the day. This is a medium-size dog who weighs between 40 to 50 pounds.

    * Learn More About the Bulldog

    French Bulldog - Charming and Compact

    The squat, bow-legged but utterly charming French Bulldog is an ideal choice for anyone who lives in an apartment

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