Doggone Orlando

News, views and reviews for Orlando pet parents from the mom of a menagerie of cats, dogs, birds, horses, fish, and guinea pigs who stays just one step ahead of the "Animal Hoarders" TV crew

Petco and Petsmart say ‘no’ to potentially dangerous Chinese dog treats

b17If you’re a savvy pet owner, you probably already know about the potential dangers of Chinese dog treats. Although nothing’s ever been proven, there’s mounting evidence that Chinese pet treats have sickened over 5000 American animals and killed more than 1000 dogs. Even more scary, they’re also suspected in the deaths of 24 cats and three people who apparently consumed the treats. Now two of the nation’s leading pet retailers, Petsmart and Petco, have both vowed to banish Chinese dog and cat treats from their shelves.

Petco will banish the Chinese products from its store shelves by the end of the year, while Petsmart will complete its own ban by March of 2015, according to The Washington Post. The treats under the most suspicion are chicken, duck, and sweet potato jerky treats, but the pet stores are getting rid of all Chinese-made varieties.

Considering all the problems cropping up with Chinese products, including TVs that can burst into flames and toys that can give kids lead poisoning, it’s not a big leap to believe that something is tainting the pet treats. No one knows exactly what, or why it’s so deadly, but do you really want to take a chance on your pet’s health in the meantime? I avoid Chinese treats when buying goodies for Bolt, who’s noshing on a safe treat in the photo at right.

Soon, you’ll know that you’re avoiding Chinese treats every time you shop at Petco and Petsmart. In the meantime, read labels carefully and do your research to protect your pets from danger.

Follow me on Twitter via @themeparkwriter and stay tuned for tips, observations, comments, and rants from someone who lives close enough to Walt Disney World to hear the fireworks from her house every night. I also do pet tweets from that account. Email comments and story ideas to hypeorlandoblogger@gmail.com.

Shocking video: Hero cat saves boy from savage dog attack

Imagine your 4-year-old son is innocently playing on his bicycle in front of your house. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a neighbor’s dog attacks the child, inflicting him with bite wounds deep enough to require stitches. You’re nearby, watering your landscape, and it happens so fast that you don’t even have time to react.

Now imagine how much worse that scenario might have been if the dog wasn’t driven off almost immediately by an unlikely hero: the family’s pet cat, Tara.

The dog got out of a neighbor’s yard and went on the attack, coming up behind little Jeremy Triantafilo and biting him in the leg. As you’ll see in the surveillance video below, Tara comes out of nowhere is a flash of feline fury and drives off the canine culprit before it can do any more damage. Beware: the wounds shown at the end are rather graphic, which is why the video has a warning.

The Triantafilo family lives in Southwest Bakersfield, California, where the remarkable story was reported on ABC 23 news. Jeremy’s mom, Erika, told the station that Tara has been part of the family since 2008. Normally she’s a friendly cat, but her claws come out when a fellow family member is in danger.

Speaking of cranky kitties, I recently met the most famous one of all: Grumpy Cat! You can read about that here.

Here are some other recent articles of interest:

Enjoy the links!

Follow me on Twitter via @themeparkwriter and stay tuned for tips, observations, comments, and rants from someone who lives close enough to Walt Disney World to hear the fireworks from her house every night. I also do pet tweets from that account. Email comments and story ideas to hypeorlandoblogger@gmail.com.

I met Grumpy Cat! Internet’s favorite feline comes to Disney World

I’ve attended some amazing events and met a wide range of celebrities in the years that I’ve been covering Walt Disney World. For example, not many people can say that they’ve waltzed in the Beast’s ballroom, and better yet, did it with Tony Dovolani of “Dancing With the Stars.”

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I also had the pleasure of seeing Darth Vader “meet his maker” (George Lucas, of course) from a front row spot at the opening of the re-imagined Star Tours, among other cool experiences.

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Sure, all that was fun, but sometimes you get to meet a special superstar so bright that she eclipses all others. That happened on Thursday when I attended the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train media party.

b7Yes, I was excited to meet Snow White and all seven of the dwarfs, but there was another celebrity on hand I absolutely had to meet. Her real name is Tardar Sauce, but if you’re familiar with her internet fame, you probably know her as the one, the only…Grumpy Cat!

Grumpy Cat hails from Arizona, but fittingly, she was on hand for the special Seven Dwarfs Mine Train preview. After all, she has a soul mate in one of the dwarfs. She’s absolutely adorable in person, and smaller than you would guess. That’s a result of feline dwarfism, the same condition (along with an under bite) that gives her the perpetual grumpy frown that’s been her claim to fame. Despite her meme reputation as the spokescat for grumpiness, she’s actually a very sweet and laid-back feline. She took the crowds and noise and craziness in stride as fans flocked around to grab a photo.

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train officially opens to the public on May 28, but if the other New Fantasyland rides are any indication, there just might be soft openings for lucky guests who are in the right place at the right time. Read my full report on this fun family roller coaster in this post on my “In the Shadow of the Mouse” blog.

Follow me on Twitter via @themeparkwriter and stay tuned for tips, observations, comments, and rants from someone who lives close enough to Walt Disney World to hear the fireworks from her house every night. I also do pet tweets from that account. Email comments and story ideas to hypeorlandoblogger@gmail.com.