They say “Every dog has its day,” and for Bretagne, the last known surviving 9/11 search and rescue dog, her special day was really something amazing. This Golden Retriever, a member of Texas Task Force 1, searched through the rubble of the World Trade Center after 9/11, reports Laura Hartle of BarkPost. In recognition of her service, BarkPost and 1 Hotels teamed up to give Bretagne the best ‘Sweet 16’ birthday ever!
A special day for a special dog
With her name in lights, Bretagne and her guardian, Denise Corliss, were stylishly led around the city for her special day. She was even given the very prestigious ‘Bone of the Dog Park’ at the Hudson River Park, and the royal treatment didn’t stop there! Bretagne attended her amazing birthday party in a lavish room filled with treats and gifts.
Bretagne and Denise received their very own cobblestone to be added to the plaza of the 9/11 memorial. The moment is enough to bring you to tears.
Amazing service dogs
The work that service and therapy dogs are doing is truly inspiring. In June of this year, Figo, another service dog stood between his blind guardian and a bus. Read more amazingly heroic stories here >>
National Disaster Preparedness Month
These are the dogs we rely on when disasters strike. Read about the Nepal Earthquake, or the Washington Mudslide and you’ll understand the dangers these dogs face regularly.
September is National Disaster Preparedness Month, and now is a good time to start thinking about preparing your pets for an emergency situation.
Learn more about being prepared with these links:
Disaster Preparedness for Pets >>
How to Make a Pet Disaster Kit >>
Microchipping 101: Why is it Important to Microchip My Pet? >>
If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.
New York, N.Y. (Sept. 15, 2001) — Golden Retriever SAR dog, Riley, is transported out of the debris of the World Trade Center. U.S. Navy Photo by Journalist 1st Class Preston Keres.
Riley, a Golden Retriever that assisted in the 9/11 search and rescue efforts, was trained to find live people. Still, he did help recover several bodies of firefighters. But Riley worked desperately to find the living – that was his job.
His search partner and human explained, “Riley knew the people he continued to find were dead. He was never a formally trained cadaver dog. His job was to findt he still living. I tried my best to tell Riley he was doing his job. He had no way to know that when firefighters and police officers came over to hug him, and for a split second you can see them crack a smile – that Riley was succeeding at doing an all together different job. He provided comfort. Or maybe he did know.”
Bringing a Dog into the United States
All dogs must appear healthy to enter the United States. And depending upon what country the dogs are coming from, they may need a valid rabies vaccination certificate. Written or oral statements and any documents must be in English or have an English translation.
The rules for bringing your dog into the United States are covered under US Regulations (see Rabies vaccine certificate required when coming from these countries below).
These rules apply to all dogs, including puppies, service animals, and emotional support dogs. These rules also apply whether you are (1) just visiting the United States with your dog, (2) importing dogs into the United States, or (3) traveling out of the United States and returning with your dog after a temporary visit, such as a vacation or holiday, or for shopping or visiting friends and relatives. If you do not follow CDC’s rules, your dog may not be allowed to enter the United States.
In addition to CDC regulations, you must comply with US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and your destination state’s regulations external icon , which are often more strict than federal regulations. Please be aware that dogs imported for commercial (resale or adoption) purposes have additional requirements from USDA external icon .
Some bird species, particularly the hookbills, require daily exercise, interaction, and time out of their cages. Are you able to spare at least two hours a day to socialize with your bird and supervise his out of cage activities? If not, a Finch, Canary or other more independent species may be best for you. To ensure that your pet stays healthy and happy, you should consider how much time you have available to spend with your bird when deciding which kind you would like to own. You must also consider the time involved in cleaning their enclosure, the floor, and their food and water bowls as well as taking the time to ensure your bird is clean by giving them showers and getting into the sunlight, which is crucial for their health.
For those who put a little effort into selecting a pet that will be compatible with their lifestyle, bird ownership can be a tremendously enriching experience. A little research and careful thought can go a long way in making sure that your relationship with your pet is destined to be a good one. By resisting the urge to buy a bird on impulse and keeping these important tips in mind, you are sure to make the right decision about which species will be best for your family. Your best bet? Look to adopt a bird so that you have the support of the adoption and education foundation you adopted from to help you with successfully learning to care for these wonderful companions.
Brooklyn’s Prospect Park is dog heaven. On sunny Saturday mornings, the park’s open green space, Long Meadow, fills with hundreds of canines frolicking during off-leash hours. The dogs’ owners hover nearby like watchful parents who, when playtime ends, head over to the nearby farmers’ market or go out for brunch. Later in the day, they might make time for doggie yoga or the pet bakery before coming home to their pet-friendly apartment buildings, many featuring dog baths and groomers.
Roughly 600,000 dogs live in New York City, along with half a million cats. About half of U.S. households own a pet, which adds up to at least 77 million dogs and 54 million cats. Generationally, millennials are the most enthusiastic pet owners, with some 70 percent boasting of having at least one pet.
What you’re less likely to see, especially in America’s largest cities, are children. Pets are now more common than kids in many U.S. cities. San Francisco, for example, is home to nearly 150,000 dogs but just 115,000 children under age 18. Farther north, Seattle has more households with cats than with kids. Nationwide, pets outnumber children in apartment buildings. In New York neighborhoods like Long Island City and Williamsburg, wealthy singles have the highest number of pooches per capita.
In a recent Atlantic essay, Derek Thompson wrote about how “America’s urban rebirth is missing a key element: births.” Manhattan’s infant population is projected to halve in 30 years. High-density cities are losing families with children over age six, while growing their populations of college-educated residents without children. Indeed, the share of children under 20 living in big cities has been falling for 40 years.
Young professionals’ four-legged friends have replaced those babies. While statistics are spotty, the cultural signs of a shift toward the parenting of pets in major cities are evident in apartment ads, park design, retail mixes, and the explosion of services catering to the “fur-baby economy.” In the absence of kids, a dog or cat serves as something like a starter family. Young Americans dote on their pets with the care once reserved for children, with lavish birthday presents or “family portraits” on Instagram.
The cost of ownership over a medium-sized dog’s lifetime has grown at twice the rate of inflation since 2008, to $12,700. Americans spent $70 billion last year caring for and feeding pets they spent $59 billion on child care. No wonder pet insurance is now “the hottest employment benefit,” especially when it runs north of $100 a month in New York for the most comprehensive plans. In my Chelsea neighborhood, the local pet boarder comes with a chef, chauffeur, and a private room larger than my own.
As markets and employers respond to these moves with fewer family-friendly amenities, childless cities are becoming the norm. When Zappos polled its employees on the amenities that they’d like in a new headquarters, the greatest vote-getter was doggie daycare. A growing number of companies even offer “fur-turnity” leave to their employees and allow pets to visit work.
Dogs and cats should be welcome in cities, of course, but their ever-increasing popularity among young professionals—and the attendant decline in children—portends a shift in urban America that we will have to reckon with in the coming decades. More Americans live alone than at any time in the country’s history. Singles make up 28 percent of households, up from 13 percent in 1960. Household size is declining in New York City, as it is in much of the country, from around 3.5 persons at mid-century to 2.67 today. We’re living longer and marrying later.
No wonder pet ownership among men and women living alone has grown by 25 percent since 2006, particularly among single women. Dogs and cats provide a ready source of companionship, possibly substituting for children and spouses. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, married couples without children spent the most on their pets. A millennial’s first pet is considered a major milestone.
In cities, dog parks and pet boutiques flourish, but families are thinning out. In New York, “purse dogs” ride subways in comfort, while a mother falls to her death carrying a baby stroller down flights of stairs to the platform’s edge. Children add much more to life than a morning feed and walk. Families need what cities are struggling to provide today: affordable housing, good schools, public order, and quality public spaces—but policymakers have yet to deliver a family-friendly urban agenda. Raising a family is hard, under the best of circumstances. American cities need more children—not just pets.
Michael Hendrix is director of state and local policy at the Manhattan Institute.