Tag Archives: pets

A workout treadmill for cats

News you can use: A company has now designed a smart treadmill specifically designed for cats.

The Little Cat’s biggest selling point is that it has a built-in incentive – an LED light that moves up the center of the ring. As anyone who’s ever flicked a laser pointer around on the floor knows, cats go nuts for those lights, and this might be the missing ingredient that gets their lazy butts onto the treadmill. In some of the videos it seems to work, but in others the cat is far more interested in the LED and looks visibly uncomfortable as soon as the floor starts to move under it.

Where other wheels are passive and only move when the cat starts running, the Little Cat can be set to move on its own at different speeds, like a treadmill. It’s controlled through a smartphone app, letting users set the speed, move the LED around, watch the cat through a live camera feed and even record voice samples to play back when you’re not home. The app also works like a fitness tracker, recording your pet’s run data and apparently using that to develop a customized exercise plan.

No pricing is available as yet. I’ve embedded the company’s video below the fold, which proves once again that it is impossible to predict the strange and absurd places humans will take their ingenuity.
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NYC law bans pet sitting without license

You get the government you deserve: The New York City health department has been fining pet sitters and trying to block online services that link pets to sitters because the city law bans pet sitting without a kennel license as well as bans issuing that license to private homes.

Health Department rules ban anyone from taking money to care for an animal outside a licensed kennel — and the department has warned a popular pet-sitting app that its users are breaking the law.

“The laws are antiquated,” said Chad Bacon, 29, a dog sitter in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, with the app Rover. “If you’re qualified and able to provide a service, I don’t think you should be penalized.”

I must admit that I have very little sympathy for these pet sitters. New Yorkers have been voting for a big intrusive city government for more than a century. This is what they wished for. This is what they get. Nonetheless, while it might make sense for the local government to place limits on the number of pets allowed in a private home in a crowded place like New York, for it to ban anyone from earning any money for taking care of someone else’s pets is a clear abuse of power.

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A Texas court has ruled that the owners of a wrongfully killed pet can recover “sentimental” or “intrinsic” damages.

A Texas court has ruled that the owners of a wrongfully killed pet can recover “sentimental” or “intrinsic” damages.

The case stems from a lawsuit brought by Kathryn and Jeremy Medlen against Carla Strickland. Around June 2, 2009, the Medlen’s dog Avery escaped from their backyard and was picked up by animal control. Jeremy went to the animal shelter to retrieve Avery but didn’t have enough money with him to pay the fees. He was told he could return for the dog June 10, and a “hold for owner” tag was placed on Avery’s cage.

On June 6, Strickland, a shelter employee, made a list of animals that would be euthanized the following day. She put Avery on the list, despite the “hold for owner” tag, and the dog was euthanized the next day. When the Medlens returned to claim Avery, they learned what had happened.

I have no sympathy for the veterinary organizations that are opposing this ruling, claiming it will raise costs. From what I can gather, they face no risk if they simply do their job properly. In the case above, the dog was wrongfully killed, and thus the shelter should pay for that error.

A side note: If this precedent gets accepted, it will act as a deterrent to police departments who presently think the only way to handle a homeowner’s dog is to shoot it on sight. If you are a cop and you wrongfully kill a dog, this ruling will make you liable for a lot more than the dog’s mere market worth.

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Two Dogs Defy the Wave

Two dogs defy the wave. This is the key quote, however:

Mr. Kikuchi and his daughter said they will come back every day to look after the dogs, but they are not going to bring the dogs to the shelter. “There are lots of people dead and it’s too much to ask to bring the dogs,” said Mr. Kikuchi. “It would be inconsiderate to other people’s sadness.”

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