Hurry Up! It’s not too late

Help make a difference in the fight to end animal cruelty and get a last-minute tax deduction. Your gift today will help us continue our efforts to provide the life-saving medical care and much-needed protection that abused, abandoned, lost and homeless pets desperately need. Plus, with your contribution of $25 or more, you’ll receive a full ASPCA membership and subscription to our quarterly magazine, ASPCA Action.

Animal lovers like you, who care passionately about protecting our beloved companions, give us hope. Your commitment brings us one step closer to ending all forms of animal cruelty and finding permanent loving homes for America’s adoptable animals.

Donate and save lives






Here are a few of my favorite no-kill, non profit animal rescue groups that i feel comfortable giving my  money too. If a particular breed is your ‘cup of tea’ then think about donating to a breed rescue group.

New Spirit 4 Aussie Rescue

Don’t want to adopt but do want to help?

We depend on donations to supplement our adoption fees.
Sometimes, the cost to rescue a dog far exceeds our adoption fee.
We accept checks or Paypal.
You’ll receive a letter acknowledging your gift for your tax records.
You can also help by visiting our Paws To Shop section.
Thank you in advance for your generosity!

Donate with PayPal
(You don’t need to have a PayPal account yourself.)

You can do a little or a lot:
no experience necessary!
Make reference check phone calls, do home visits, help with transporting dogs, fundraise, maintain webpages, help at rescue booths, or become a foster home.
Your fellow New Spirit volunteers will be there to help every step of the way!




Keeping Your Dog Safe at Christmas

With the excitement and activity of the holiday season the  four-legged family members can be easily neglected.  Between the disruption in normal schedules, strange visitors and tempting goodies on the table, the family dog faces numerous opportunities for mischief.  But with a little planning and a few precautions, the holiday season can be as safe for pets as it is joyous for the entire family.

Niki Tudge, the DogSmith founder, says, “Remember that many of the foods we serve during the holidays that we think are yummy can be dangerous and even fatal to our family dog.  So be extra careful to make sure your dog doesn’t have access to any of the goodies we serve during the holidays especially sweets, bones, alcohol, chocolate, coffee and tea. And keep an eye on the overflowing trash bins that can be a huge temptation for your pooch.  You want to keep it away from the gravy soaked aluminum foil and things like toothpicks and plastics that can cause serious internal damage to your dog.”

In addition, many decorations and ornaments can present a danger to the family dog and some decorations, whether real or artificial, can be toxic.  Tree lights, extension cords and many holiday trimmings can be dangerous if chewed.  Other Christmas decorations can be toxic to a dog including the water in the Christmas tree pan, pine needles, tinsel and glass ornaments.

Marty Smith, DVM, suggests, “For dogs who may not behave or could be aggressive, placing them in a separate room, using pet gates, or having them stay at a friend’s house during a party, may be necessary.  Sometimes, boarding a dog in a kennel may be the safest alternative.

Tudge says, “One of the best ways to prevent problems and keep your pooch safe and happy is to provide your dog with a safe and comfortable refuge away from household activities.  A dog crate or a quiet, secure room will keep your pup safe and limit the stress it may be feeling because of strangers and holiday activities.  You may want to consider hiring a dog sitter for any extra busy days on your holiday calendar.”  For more information on pet sitting services visit

How Do I Know If My Pet Has a Bed Bug Bite or Some Other Insect Bite?

An interview with Susan E. Little, DVM, PhD, Diplomate EVPC (professor and Krull-Ewing Endowed chair in Veterinary Parasitology at Oklahoma State University), elicited some interesting information about the current bed bug epidemic in the U.S.

Bed bugs haven’t been a problem in this country for over 50 years, but they remained prevalent in other locations throughout the world, including Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe.

However, bed bugs are again turning up across the U.S. in a wide variety of locations, including:

  • Homes and apartments
  • Hotels and motels
  • Office buildings
  • Health care facilities
  • Schools and dormitories
  • Shelters
  • Public transportation
  • Movie theaters
  • Laundries and dry cleaners
  • Furniture rental outlets

According to Dr. Little, the problem is thought to be a combination of:

  • Increased travel, especially internationally
  • Growing resistance to pesticides
  • The move away from using ‘broadcast’ pesticides (sprays and bombs) in households, leaving areas of homes (primarily bedrooms) where bed bugs proliferate pesticide-free

If you suspect the source of your pet’s itching might be bed bugs, the first things you should carefully inspect are the mattresses, box springs, bed frames and the areas around the beds in your home.

Then widen your search to include other areas of the bedrooms, including around baseboards, in corners, cracks, crevices and similar hiding places. Look for dark staining or speckling. Bed bug droppings look similar to flea dirt. Also look for eggs and molted skin that has dropped off.

As Dr. Little points out in her interview:

“Bed bugs are really a human problem that also happen to affect the pets that live in the home. As veterinarians, clients may come to us with a bed bug problem and we need to be able to help them, but the pets are not the source of the infestation or the only host sustaining the bed bugs in that home.”


Dr. Becker’s Comments:

To most people, there is something especially unsettling about bed bugs.

The idea the little blood suckers are hanging out, invisible, in your mattress or bedding, waiting for you to doze off so they can swarm over you, biting you dozens or even hundreds times while you sleep, can be downright disturbing.

According to this short but dramatic National Geographic video on bed bugs, the little beasts deliver both an anesthetic and an anti-coagulant when they bite a host. The purpose of the anesthetic is so you won’t awaken from the bite; the anti-coagulant guarantees your blood will flow freely so the bed bug gets a good meal.

The Common Bed Bug, Cimex Lectularius

The common bed bug is a small, flat, brown-colored insect that feeds exclusively on the blood of animals. Cimex lectularius is the species of bed bug best adapted to living with humans.

There are other bed bug species, but they prefer to feed on wild hosts, in particular bats and birds.

Adult bed bugs are less than a quarter inch long and are often mistaken for ticks or cockroaches. The younger insects are smaller and lighter than the adults.

Bed bugs can’t fly, but they can move quickly across flat surfaces.

During their lifetime, female insects lay hundreds of tiny eggs the size of a speck of dust. The eggs are sticky and adhere to surfaces. When the eggs hatch, the offspring, called nymphs, are no bigger than a pinhead. They will molt five times while they mature, and they require a meal (blood) between each shedding.

If the temperature stays around 70 – 80°F, a nymph can grow to adulthood in about a month and produce at least three generations each year. If the temperature is cooler or the insect has less access to a host, it will take longer to mature.

Bed bugs are incredibly durable. Immature insects can go months without a meal; adults can live for over a year without food.

Cimex lectularius prefers humans to feed on, but in the absence of their preferred host, these bugs will go after other warm-blooded animals, including your birds, cats, dogs and rodents.

Do Bed Bugs Carry Disease?

This is a common concern, but although these parasites can carry pathogens, it is unlikely they will be transmitted to their hosts.

The primary physical complaint with bed bugs is itching and inflammation at the site of the bite. However, if the infestation is significant, a person’s quality of life can be dramatically affected due to discomfort from the bites, insomnia, anxiety, and/or embarrassment.

It’s important to realize bed bugs are extremely transportable and resilient. They can arrive home in your luggage after a vacation; they can also find their way to your apartment or condo from another unit in your building. Since these parasites feed on warm-blooded animals, especially humans, they proliferate wherever there are hosts. Consequently, they are found just as often in immaculate environments as in unclean ones.

Insect repellents used to prevent or kill mosquitoes and ticks aren’t effective against bed bugs. Neither wearing insect repellent to bed nor sleeping with the lights on is a solution.

How Do I Know If My Pet Has a Bed Bug Bite or Some Other Insect Bite?

Unfortunately, it’s not all that easy to tell.

Because bed bugs resemble other pet pests, as do their bites, the best way to determine if the problem is bed bugs is to look for telltale signs of the insects yourself, or hire a professional to inspect your home.

Bed bug bites will cause itching and a raised area of skin at the site of the bite, much like most other insect bites. Only in cases of very heavy infestation will anemia develop in either humans or pets.

There are no specific tests your veterinarian can run to distinguish a bed bug bite from other insect bites. However, if both you and your pet are being bitten, especially during the night, there’s a good chance it’s bed bugs. Unlike fleas, which tend to bite humans on the lower legs, ankles and feet, bed bug bites are usually found on the torso or upper body.

It’s possible to mistake a bed bug for a tick, but bed bugs don’t stay attached as long as ticks do. They bite, feed for a few minutes and then go elsewhere to digest their meal.

As is the case with humans, unless the infestation is significant, there’s no indication your pet will suffer from more than some itching and sleeplessness. Bed bugs are not known to transmit disease to pets like some other parasites. However, you do want to insure your pet doesn’t scratch any bite to the point of infection.

I Think I Have a Bed Bug Problem. What Now?

Don’t try to solve the problem yourself unless you happen to be an expert in bed bugs and pesticides.

Contact a local licensed pest control company with experience with bed bugs. They will have information on the bed bug situation in your area, including what types of pesticides are proving effective, as well as toxicity concerns. They will also know where and how to look for the insects, and should be expert at recognizing bed bug droppings, eggs, molted skin and other residue.

Depending on where you live, the company you call might use bed bug sniffing dogs.

Many conventional pesticide treatments are toxic to you and your pets, especially if applied incorrectly. Most are not recommended for use directly on either mattresses or bedding. That’s why it’s important to hire an expert to help you resolve the problem.

Some pest control companies now offer “greener” options that include essential oil derivatives (including cedar oil) that are much safer for you and your pets than conventional pesticides.

If you’re unsure about a pest control company’s level of expertise concerning toxic pesticides or their ability to provide less toxic alternatives, or if you just want a second opinion before deciding on a course of action, your integrative/holistic vet will be a good resource for how to best keep your pet safe while the insects are being eradicated.

If your bed bug infestation is small and you’d prefer not to involve a pest control company, there are a few things you can try yourself, including:

  • A do-it-yourself bed bug detector.
  • Treat your mattress and box spring with a natural bed bug-killing dust, safe for humans and pets. Then encase mattresses, box springs and pillows in good-quality bug proof covers. These covers will keep existing bed bugs from getting at you, and will prevent new bugs from taking up residence in your bed.It’s a good idea to leave the covers on for eight months. Remember, bed bugs are resilient and can live for long periods without food.
  • Alternatively, if you can afford to, replace infested mattresses and box springs with new ones.
  • Wash bedding several times a week or every day if necessary during an active infestation.
  • Thoroughly inspect your bed frame and if you find bed bug evidence, remove it from the house away from pets and family members and treat it with the safest, most effective product available to exterminate bed bugs.
  • Try a heated steam sprayer to kill bed bugs.
  • Clean floors and furniture often and thoroughly, preferably with a vacuum that uses bags. Remove and dispose of the bags in sealed bags so any live bed bugs will be unable to escape into your garbage can and back into your home.

Sourced from Dr Becker December 13th 2010

Dr. Becker is the resident proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian of You can learn holistic ways of preventing illness in your pets by subscribing to, an online resource for animal lovers. For more pet care tips, subscribe for FREE to Mercola Healthy Pet Newsletter.

Keep Your Pets Warm This Winter

Cold Weather Tips – From the ASPCA

Brrrr…it’s cold outside!  The following guidelines will help you protect your companion animals when the mercury dips.

  1. Keep your cat inside. Outdoors, felines can freeze, become lost or be stolen, injured or killed. Cats who are allowed to stray are exposed to infectious diseases, including rabies, from other cats, dogs and wildlife.
  2. During the winter, outdoor cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars. When the motor is started, the cat can be injured or killed by the fan belt. If there are outdoor cats in your area, bang loudly on the car hood before starting the engine to give the cat a chance to escape.
  3. Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm—dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost. More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season, so make sure yours always wears ID tags.
  4. Thoroughly wipe off your dog’s legs and stomach when he comes in out of the sleet, snow or ice. He can ingest salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals while licking his paws, and his paw pads may also bleed from snow or encrusted ice.
  5. Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. When you bathe your dog in the colder months, be sure to completely dry him before taking him out for a walk. Own a short-haired breed? Consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. For many dogs, this is regulation winter wear.
  6. Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.
  7. Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs, and may be difficult to housebreak during the winter. If your puppy appears to be sensitive to the weather, you may opt to paper-train him inside. If your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type, take him outdoors only to relieve himself.
  8. Does your dog spend a lot of time engaged in outdoor activities? Increase his supply of food, particularly protein, to keep him—and his fur—in tip-top shape.
  9. Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol. Visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center more information.
  10. Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect.

Sourced December 8th 2010 ASPCA website

Free Samples of a Holistic Dog & Cat Food

Free Samples of Life’s Abundance Cat Food and Dog Food

Dog food samples are approximately 3.8 ounces and cat food samples are 2.2 ounces. The samples are NOT meal-size and are enough to satisfy the taste, feel and smell senses. Since Life’s Abundance Premium Health Food For Dogs and Cats has a 30-day money back guarantee, rather than ordering a sample, you might consider ordering the smallest bag of Life’s Abundance Dog Food. This is a great way to try our other HealthyPetNet products, too! What have you got to lose?

Although you may think all pet food manufacturers have your pet’s best interests in mind, this is not always the case. Current pet food regulations allow manufacturers to use ingredients that you would never knowingly give to your pet. In fact, you may be shocked to learn what some brands of pet food really contain. Watch this short presentation before you commit to a brand of food for your loving companion.

Life’s Abundance pet food is made from USA Ingredients and has never been recalled –

  • NO Hormones/Steroids
  • NO By-Products
  • NO Corn, Wheat, or Soy
  • NO Artificial Colors/Flavors
  • NO Chemical Preservatives

Life’s Abundance Premium Health Food is veterinarian-formulated with select ingredients to help your dog achieve and maintain optimum health. We use a “fast-cook” process to help preserve the nutritional value of each and every wholesome ingredient. And we maintain strict inventory controls to ensure the quality and safety of our foods.

Our foods are made with the finest ingredients, including …

  • A proprietary blend of vitamins and minerals
  • High-quality protein from chicken and catfish meals for strong muscles
  • An antioxidant system including vitamins A, C and E
  • A selection of nutritious vegetables and fruits
  • Omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin and a shiny coat
  • Calcium and phosphorus for healthy teeth and strong bones
  • Dietary fiber to help maintain a healthy digestive tract

Since we use only wholesome ingredients, this formula contains …

  • No artificial flavors
  • No artificial colors
  • No corn or corn gluten
  • No wheat or wheat gluten

Life’s Abundance is concentrated nutrition in every bowl.

  • A balanced blend of calcium and phosphorous to support growing and aging bones
  • Our kibble has tested extremely positive with both puppies and adult dogs, regardless of breed or size
  • Optimal protein levels for growing puppies and adults
  • Unique blend of antioxidants that support dogs throughout their life cycle.

Try some today. FREE SAMPLES

DogSmith Dog Walking Packages

Call Us Today For a FREE Consultation & Learn More About How We Can Help You
1-888-DogSmith (364-7648)

Dedicated to the happiness of your pet with your peace of mind at heart.

Pet Care FAQs

You will no longer be torn between the demands of your job and the needs of your pets. No more worries about your furry family members while you are away from home on vacation or conducting business.

We’ll take care of your critters and look after your home.

At The DogSmith, our pet care program was specifically designed to give you the peace of mind that comes from having the best of all worlds. Our Pet Care Program guarantees that your furry family members are cared for by trained and certified animal experts while you are away.

Concierge Pet Care Services for Pet Lovers

Dog Romp
While you are at work we give your dog a 30 minute walk. For the safety of your pet we limit the number of dogs walked at one time to two. Dog walking is also offered as an additional service during a DogSmith In home pet care visit.

Weekly Dog Romp Package
This is a five day prepaid package with each daily visit comprised of a 30 minute Dog Romp for up to two dogs.

Monthly Dog Romp Package
This is a 20 day prepaid package of daily visits, five per week, with each daily visit providing a 30 minute Dog Romp for up to two dogs.

Six Month Dog Romp Package
This is a six month Dog Romp package including 5 daily visits each week, Monday through Friday. Each visit will be a 30 minute Dog Romp for up to two dogs.

Dog Park Romp
This is a one hour romp for your dog at a local, fully fenced Dog Park.

Dog Park Romp Package
Five day pre paid package of daily trips to the local Dog Park for a 60 minute Dog Romp for up to two dogs.

Contact your local DogSmith for more information on pricing and services

Learn about some of our other Pet Care Services

In Home Pet Care Policy

5-year-old dies after pack of dogs attacks – Alabama

5-year-old dies after pack of dogs attacks From Rick Martin, CNN November 16, 2010 8:50 a.m. EST STORY HIGHLIGHTS *

When are dog owners going to learn that dogs need to be Training correctly, their environments need to be managed for safety and they should have a solid and trusting relationship around people.Another tragic case of a small child death

A CNN Article

Authorities say 11 of the dogs belonged to the boy’s neighbors * It appears that they slipped under a fence and into the yard * The sheriff-elect says all 12 dogs involved will be euthanized (CNN) — Authorities in Alabama are investigating the death of a 5-year-old boy who was attacked in his yard by a pack of up to a dozen dogs. An autopsy will be conducted Tuesday and charges are pending, said Heath Taylor, chief investigator and sheriff-elect for the Russell County Sheriff’s Office. The child was home with a babysitter in Phenix City, Alabama, Monday afternoon when he darted outside into the fenced yard and was attacked, Taylor said. Animal control investigators determined 12 dogs were involved, but it was not clear how many of them bit the boy. One of the dogs involved belonged to the boy’s family, Taylor said. The 11 others belonged to neighbors and apparently slipped under the fence, he said. “This is a horrible tragedy because both families know each other,” he said. Taylor said the dogs were from mixed breeds, and none of them were pit bulls. “All 12 dogs are in custody and will be put down,” he said.