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Ask The Vet: In the Case of An Emergency

When Does My Pet Need Emergency Care?

Your pet may need emergency care because of severe trauma—caused by an accident or fall—choking, heatstroke, an insect sting, household poisoning or other life-threatening situation.

What Are Some Signs That My Pet Needs Emergency Care?

  • Pale gums
  • Rapid breathing
  • Weak or rapid pulse
  • Change in body temperature
  • Difficulty standing
  • Apparent paralysis
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures
  • Excessive bleeding

What Should I Do if My Pet Needs Emergency Care?

Pets who are severely injured may act aggressively toward their pet parents, so it’s important to first protect yourself from injury. Approach your pet slowly and calmly; kneel down and say his name. If the pet shows aggression, call for help. If he’s passive, fashion a makeshift stretcher and gently lift him onto it. Take care to support his neck and back in case he’s suffered any spinal injuries.

Once you feel confident and safe transporting your pet, immediately bring him to an emergency care facility. Please ask someone—a friend or family member—to call the clinic, so the staff expects you and your pet.

What Are Some First Aid Treatments I Can Perform on My Pet?

Most emergencies require immediate veterinary care, but first aid methods may help you stabilize your pet for transportation.

If your pet is suffering from external bleeding due to trauma, try elevating and applying pressure to the wound.

If your pet is choking, place your fingers in his mouth to see if you can remove the blockage.

If you’re unable to remove the foreign object, perform a modified Heimlich maneuver by giving a sharp rap, which should dislodge the object, to his chest.

Should I Perform CPR on My Pet?

CPR may be necessary if you remove the object your pet is choking on, but he is still unconscious. First check to see if he’s breathing. If not, place him on his side and perform artificial respiration by extending his head and neck, holding his jaws closed and blowing into his nostrils once every three seconds. (Ensure no air escapes between your mouth and the pet’s nose.) If you don’t feel a heartbeat, incorporate cardiac massage while administering artificial respiration—three quick, firm chest compressions for every respiration—until your pet resumes breathing on his own.

Here is a video for Pet CPR: (Starts at 0:33)

What Should I Do If My Pet Eats Something Poisonous?

If you suspect your pet has ingested a toxic substance, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour hotline at (888) 426-4435. Trained toxicologists will consider the age and health of your pet, what and how much he ate, and then make a recommendation—such as whether to induce vomiting—based on their assessment.

Dr. Annie Harvilicz and her team of veterinary medicine professionals are revolutionizing animal healthcare with her forward-thinking integrative approach to health and wellness. The Animal Wellness flagship veterinarian hospital in Venice – Marina del Rey in Los Angeles is a state-of-the-art clinic designed from the ground up with your pets’ perspective in mind. Learn more here.

Dr. Annie and Animal Wellness Centers Call on Governor Brown to Not Repeal Any Provisions of Hayden Law

MARINA DEL REY – The Hayden Law was passed in California in 1998 and provides the nation’s most comprehensive laws to protect shelter animals. Governor Jerry Brown is considering a repeal of a number of provisions of the Hayden Law citing budget concerns. With the Hayden Law, California was at the forefront of animal shelter regulation and many states have been following that lead ever since.

Some of the provisions that are subject to repeal would mean permanently reducing the required holding period for animals to 72 hours prior to euthanasia, eliminating the requirement to provide veterinary treatment for shelter animals, and eliminating the requirement to keep records for animals impounded by shelter personnel, which would only make it more difficult to locate lost animals or those available for adoption.

The situation for shelter animals is bad enough now. Why ensure that it remains that way in the future as well? There is no justification, budgetary or otherwise, for making these changes permanent. The provisions in question have already been suspended since July 2009, and are currently not imposing additional costs on the state. California’s homeless animals deserve better. Repeal of any of the provisions of the Hayden Law would be a giant step backward for the animals of California when other states are continuing forward with animal protection laws.

For these reasons, Dr. Annie and Animal Wellness Centers are urging Governor Brown not to repeal any provision of the Hayden Law. Please call Governor Brown’s office at (916) 445-2841 and check this site for updates:

Now is not the time to regress on the moral progress we have made. This quote from Gandhi is very poignant and particularly relevant today:

“To my mind, I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man….The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” -Gandhi

About Animal Wellness Centers

Animal Wellness Centers is a fast-growing companion-animal healthcare firm headquartered in Marina del Rey, California. Its core business is veterinary services with a focus on comprehensive animal wellness designed to strengthen the human-animal bond. It is the exclusive retailer of Dr. Annie’s™ brand products. More:

Annie Harvilicz, DVM, CVA (“Dr. Annie”) is the Founder and Chief Medical Officer of AWC. She brings experience at leading centers for animal care throughout the world including extensive work on endangered species such as giant pandas, black rhinos, cheetahs, and elephants. She has appeared on the Discovery Channel’s Animal Precinct television program during her tenure at the ASPCA’s Animal Hospital in New York City. Her private practice has spanned across the country with high-profile clientele from New York to Los Angeles. She completed her DVM degree at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine where she served as President of the school’s chapter of the AVMA. She is also the recipient of various awards and distinctions including, among others, the Sherrie Clark Compassion and Caring Award and the Tobey Award for special compassion for lost, abandoned, or homeless dogs. She is licensed to practice in California, New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland and is certified in Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. More:

Dr. Annie Harvilicz and her team of veterinary medicine professionals are revolutionizing animal healthcare with her forward-thinking integrative approach to health and wellness. The Animal Wellness flagship veterinarian hospital in Venice – Marina del Rey in Los Angeles is a state-of-the-art clinic designed from the ground up with your pets’ perspective in mind. Learn more here.

Save Japan’s Dolphins

DOLPHIN – MY FRIEND – PSA — WATCH IT! from Dolphin Project on Vimeo.

In the documentary film The Cove, a team of activists and filmmakers infiltrate a heavily-guarded cove in Taiji, Japan. In this remote village they witness and document activities deliberately being hidden from the public: More than 20,000 dolphins and porpoises are being slaughtered each year and their meat, containing toxic levels of mercury, is being sold as food in Japan, often times labeled as whale meat.

The majority of the world is not aware this is happening. The Taiji cove is blocked off from the public. Cameras are not allowed inside and the media does not cover the story. It’s critical that we get the word out in Japan. Once the Japanese people know, we believe they will demand change.

Dr. Annie and Animal Wellness Centers join Save Japan Dolphins in urging President Obama, Vice President Biden and Japanese Ambassador to the United States Ichiro Fujisaki to work towards ending this senseless tragedy.  Click here to take action by signing the Save Japan Dolphins petition.

Also, check this blog for updates and news from Taiji:

Dr. Annie Harvilicz and her team of veterinary medicine professionals are revolutionizing animal healthcare with her forward-thinking integrative approach to health and wellness. The Animal Wellness flagship veterinarian hospital in Venice – Marina del Rey in Los Angeles is a state-of-the-art clinic designed from the ground up with your pets’ perspective in mind. Learn more here.

Dogfighting is No Game

Special Guest Blogger
Stat Quo

There is no place for dogfighting. That’s why I am joining Michael Vick and other compassionate people to call on Google to pull an app called KG Dogfighting (formerly called Dog Wars) from its Android Marketplace.  Check out Michael Vick’s statement in a press release article posted by The Humane Society of the United States here.

According to Martin Mersereau of PETA, the developers say the app–in which players train and fight dogs against other players–is “just a video game.” But for living, breathing animals, the consequences of glamorizing cruelty are deadly serious. At best, this game trivializes the horrendous suffering that dogs endure at the hands of dogfighters and sends the dangerous message that abusing animals is entertaining. At worst, it is a training manual for wannabe dogfighters and may pique some players’ interest enough to inspire them to move from virtual dogfighting to the real thing.

We all agree that there are no winners in dogfighting, only victims. Dogs who are forced to fight are typically kept in tiny cages or outdoors on heavy chains 24 hours a day, and they are starved, beaten and taunted into aggression. Dogfighters frequently steal unattended cats and dogs from people’s yards to use as bait to train dogs to attack.

Damage after years of fighting.

In the pit, dogs tear each other to shreds in fights that can last for hours, until both dogs are exhausted and at least one is seriously injured or dead. The “winners” are forced to fight other dogs again and again. The losers pay with their lives: They are often used as bait, or they are electrocuted, drowned, shot or hanged.

KG Dogfighting makes a game out of this horrific cruelty, yet the app’s creators claim that they are helping animals because they plan to donate some of their profits to animal rescue organizations. Ironically, animal shelters may find themselves in need of donations to care for dogfighting victims because of this cruel game. The people have made it known loud and clear that Google needs to do the right thing and pull this ill-conceived app. There is simply no excuse for promoting, making light of or otherwise trying to pass off cruelty to animals as “entertainment.” It isn’t a game.


  • Flag this application and both add-on packs as inappropriate here.  The application’s name is “KG Dogfighting/Dog Wars”, the 2 add-on applications are named “Dog Bucks”, and the developer is Kage Games LLC
  • If you’re an Android device user, search “Dog Wars” and “Dog Bucks” in the Android Market application.  Flag all of them from your device as well.
  • Email Google at and ask they remove KG Dogfighting/Dog Wars and both Dog Bucks packs from the Android Market.
  • Sign the petition to Google and Android demanding KG Dogfighting/Dog Wars and related Dog Bucks apps be banned from the Market
  • Email Kage Games at


The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, in conjunction with the Humane Society of the United States, has opened a 24-hour hotline to receive tips about dogfighting. The hotline’s number is (877) NO2-FITE.

Rewards of up to $5,000 will be given for tips leading to arrests or convictions involving dogfighting. Callers can provide tips on a dog fighting ring, an upcoming dog fight or an individual who is involved in dog fighting. Calls about dog fights actually in progress should go to 911.

Together, we can make a difference to all the dogs who look to humans for compassion and friendship, not to horrific dogfighting.

Stat Quo is an American rapper who lives in Atlanta and Los Angeles. He is a trusted friend of Animal Wellness Centers and frequently works with Dr. Annie to promote animal rights.

Dr. Annie Harvilicz and her team of veterinary medicine professionals are revolutionizing animal healthcare with her forward-thinking integrative approach to health and wellness. The Animal Wellness flagship veterinarian hospital in Venice – Marina del Rey in Los Angeles is a state-of-the-art clinic designed from the ground up with your pets’ perspective in mind. Learn more here.

Why I Choose Animal Wellness Centers

Guest Blogger: Mr. Guru Thapar

The opinions expressed here are those of Mr. Thapar, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Dr. Annie or Animal Wellness Centers. Mr. Thapar is an actual client of Animal Wellness Centers and received no remuneration for this blog post.

My name is Guru Thapar. I live in Santa Monica and have a 2-yr-old Basenji named Loki. We have been coming to Animal Wellness Centers since Loki came into my life about a year and a half ago.

Loki is my first pet as an adult. He was so helpless as a puppy, and I was so nervous about being a good dad, I did a ton of research on veterinary care for him. I looked hard at quality of care as well as cost.


I called around to many local vets and shopped prices for exams, medicines, and surgeries. After reading her website and learning about the way Dr. Annie practices medicine, I thought for sure she would be more expensive. I couldn’t believe it — they were less expensive than any comparable vet!

I asked her how she can be less expensive. She said they are extremely efficient and productive in the way they run their hospital. I am still surprised and hope they can expand to Malibu where Loki and I spend the weekends!


Low-cost vaccines offered at pet stores were attractive at first. Then I realized not all vaccines or vaccination strategies are equal. First, there is often a huge difference in the quality of the drug inside any particular vaccine. I can only assume the low-cost places use the lowest-possible cost version. I don’t know this for sure, but I what I do know is that Dr. Annie uses the highest quality vaccinations because she specifically showed me what she uses. The crazy thing is her vaccines are just a few dollars more than the super-cheap deals at pet stores.

Second, I found out that there are several vaccines, such as Giardia and Corona virus, that, it turns out, are completely unnecessary and apparently sometimes harmful. Also, I learned that many vaccines only need to be given every 3 years. In fact, kennel cough is one of the only vaccines that needs to be administered yearly.


I was also enticed at first by low cost spay and neuter options I found in ads online and driving around LA. After researching it, I learned that spays and neuters are serious surgical procedures involving anesthesia. Many facets of these procedures pose serious risks. For example, I read that inducing anesthesia is essentially the same as bringing an animal very close to the brink of death. Specific surgical practices and materials used can literally mean the difference between life and death for my dog.

I called around to different vets and asked detailed questions like:

“What kind of anesthesia do you use?”
“Do you re-use endotracheal tubes?”
“How do you keep my dog warm during surgery?”
“Do you do blood-work before surgery to make sure my dog is healthy and ready for surgery?”
“Will you give my dog medicine to relieve any pain during and after the surgery?”

I got some astonishingly different answers from “I don’t know” to “Yes, we reuse endotracheal tubes, we clean them, and they are expensive.” … (When I know that “cleaning” usually means simply rinsing with water, they cost under $3, and go down my dog’s throat during surgery!)


When I had surgery, I had to get blood-work before the operation to make sure I was healthy enough to have it. I asked about this for Loki, and most places told me it was “optional.” Dr. Annie said she requires blood-work before putting any patient under anesthesia. She said there is an inherent risk associated with putting any body, animal or human, under anesthesia. She said she won’t take that risk unless she has a thorough understanding of the pet’s health and can make a decision backed up by data. This makes a lot of sense to me.


Reusing a tube that goes down your throat?

Dr. Annie told me that she does not reuse endotracheal tubes.  Instead, she uses a brand new tube for each procedure. I think it’s obvious that this decreases the chance of respiratory infection and tracheal irritation.

Anesthesia is not all the same

I learned that Animal Wellness Centers uses the drug Propofol – the same thing used in humans – to induce anesthesia. I read that using lower-quality anesthesia drugs results in at least a horrible hangover and at worst brings a higher risk of mortality. The most astonishing thing is that Propofol costs just a few dollars for each surgery!

A microwave bag of rice to keep a warm?!

Like humans, when animals are under anesthesia their body temperatures drop. I was shocked to learn that some places microwave bags of rice and put the bag of rice on the animal during surgery! Dr. Annie showed me the special warming unit she bought to keep her patients comfy during surgery. It’s similar to what is used for human infants and babies during surgery on them. This is very important to me.


Then I looked into how to manage pain after surgery. Believe it or not, some places told me they don’t use pain medications for “routine” procedures like spays and neuters. My understanding is that these procedures are painful and traumatic and absolutely require medication before the procedure and for several days after. I think people get confused that because the animal can’t talk, that it might not be in pain. I read that dogs and cats have actually evolved not to show pain as this made them vulnerable in the wild. I want a vet who thinks through pain issues and makes sure my dog never in avoidable pain.


Since I brush my teeth twice a day, I wanted to understand what to do about Loki’s teeth. I learned that dental health in dogs is super important because germs and disease can start and fester there. Most vets and pet dental places I checked with offer dental cleaning, but they don’t have dental X-ray machines. I found out online that a surface examination doesn’t reveal anything about what’s happening underneath. Dogs and cats can have gingivitis and tooth root abscesses just like humans. The only difference is they can’t tell us they have a toothache.

Only by taking x-rays of the teeth can it be determined whether a tooth is infected and needs to receive a root canal or be extracted. Apparently, this can be a life changing procedure for an animal with dental pain.

I was surprised not many vets have a dental X-ray machine. I was psyched to find out that Animal Wellness does!


I remember as a kid my family dog was prescribed steroids a lot for almost anything from itchy skin to a cold.

I wanted to find out about this and read up on steroid use. It turns out steroids offer a “quick fix” to treat the symptoms of many ailments but do not attack underlying cause of illness. I read a lot about veterinarians who prescribe steroids, like voting in Chicago, “early and often.”

I asked Dr. Annie, and she said she uses steroids as a last resort. She said steroids offer temporary relief and are not typically a cure virtually never addressing the root cause of pain. She said that before resorting to symptom-masking drugs that are expensive and often have negative side effects, she likes to focus on the underlying cause and consider how nutrition, behavior, exercise and alternative treatments can manage chronic pain.


I asked Dr. Annie about the pressure of making money and the influence on medical decisions. She told me that her core principle is “First Do No Harm.” She said she prefers to pursue alternative treatments that have few to zero side effects, like Acupuncture. She assured me that her health treatment decisions are made free of outside factors with Loki’s wellness at the heart of everything she recommends.


I called and asked other vets how long their appointments are scheduled. Some places told me the actual veterinary appointment is six minutes. 6 minutes!

Animal Wellness has 30 minute appointment slots. I asked Dr. Annie why her appointments are so much longer, she said it is important to take the time to get a thorough history and complete a comprehensive exam.

I read through some of the SEC filings of the big corporate veterinary hospitals, and it says in black and white: often the shorter appointment time comes down to a financial decision rather than a medical decision.

Taking price and quality into consideration, I feel that Animal Wellness Centers is hands down the best value for money in Los Angeles. Loki and I love going there, and Vilma, their groomer, is great too. I recommend AWC for anyone with a pet, young or old.

Here are some awesome Yelp reviews from some satisfied customers.

Dr. Annie Harvilicz and her team of veterinary medicine professionals are revolutionizing animal healthcare with her forward-thinking integrative approach to health and wellness. The Animal Wellness flagship veterinarian hospital in Venice – Marina del Rey, Los Angeles, is a state-of-the-art clinic designed from the ground up with your pets’ perspective in mind.

Changing the World for Animals in 2012 by Wayne Pacelle

Wayne Pacelle
The Humane Society of the United States

Changing the World for Animals in 2012

A moral concern for animals is not a far-off, abstract, or ethereal concern. It’s as tangible as it gets—intersecting with so many aspects of our daily lives. We may see stray or homeless animals in our community, or learn of a case of malicious cruelty that causes us to cringe or to get our heart racing with anger or righteousness. But as significant as those problems are, they’re just the most obvious expressions of the deeper problems that animals face in contemporary society.

There are billions of animals in crisis today, but so many people just don’t recognize this fact as a problem. The use of animals is enmeshed in so many parts of our economy—in food production, fashion, animal testing, wildlife management, the pet trade, sport, and in so many other contexts—that these uses are normalized and, at some level, morally invisible. Many people assume or hope that some government agency is watching over the situation and acting to restrain excesses that would cause cruelty. Others listen to the assurances of industry and put their faith in the notion of adequate self-policing.

But there are big gaps in the law when it comes to the treatment of animals, and there are too many people who view them as objects, or commodities, or resources in the waiting. Animals are used in fashion—for fur, ivory trinkets, exotic leathers, or other purposes in the wildlife trade. Many household products, cosmetics, or chemicals are tested on animals before they go to market. Gamblers go to the track to watch horses or greyhounds race. They take to the field to hunt for trophies, and a small group even sets up trap lines in an activity that blends recreation and commerce in fur pelts. Americans eat more than 10 billion animals a year, most of them raised on factory farms. And even if we are physically removed from abusive or exploitative behavior, we are still connected to it up or down the supply chain. In short, there are moral problems all around us—but that means that there are also moral opportunities all around us, too.

We live in an incredible moment of contradiction, when it comes to our relationship with animals—with so many expressions of love and appreciation, yet so many varieties of cruelty and harm. And The HSUS is working to remind people that cruelty is wrong, and that we must  logically apply these principles in the real world. They don’t just kick in with some animals, or in some settings. It’s a broader ethic that must be applied logically and consistently. We cannot simply subvert animal welfare to short-term economic and cultural concerns. Values related to mercy and compassion ground any civil society.

We must see society move past certain abuses and find a new way forward:

  • Increasing adoptions of homeless pets as a means of dropping euthanasia rates across the country, and seeing that puppy mills stop abusing dogs. In developing countries, it means humanely managing street dog populations.
  • Phasing out the use of extreme confinement practices on factory farms; transitioning to more humane farming practices; and exhibiting consciousness about the food we eat. Eating is a moral act.
  • Passing federal legislation to phase out the use of chimpanzees in invasive experiments, reducing pain and distress in the laboratory, and choosing alternatives when it comes to the use of animals for research and testing.
  • Cracking down on the trade in dangerous exotics for pets, and passing laws to forbid this trade and associated auctions.
  • Stopping the slaughter of horses for human consumption throughout North America.
  • Putting an end to the commercial hunt of seals in Canada and Namibia and convincing Japan and Norway to end their commercial slaughter of whales.
  • Ending captive shoots for animals for trophies.

In the last few years, there’s been great progress. We are on a clear trajectory—more awareness, more action, and more progress for animals. But we cannot relent, we cannot hesitate.  We must call cruelty by its name, and demand the change that we want to see in society.

Wayne Pacelle is president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s largest animal protection organization.

Respecting Animals by John Mackey

Special Guest Animal Wellness Blogger
John Mackey, CEO  and Co-Founder of Whole Foods

Respecting Animals

Like Dr. Annie, I believe animals have souls. In fact, the very word “animal” comes from the Latin word anima which literally means “soul.”

As Henry Beston put it: “In a world older and more complete than ours, animals move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.”

My strong feelings about animals and our duty to live harmoniously with them led me to the Board of Directors of the Humane Society of the United States, whose motto, simply put, is to Celebrate Animals and Confront Cruelty.

Taking this to heart, here at Whole Foods we strive to be in the vanguard on animal respect issues. This comes into focus in our practice of Conscious Capitalism, an enlightened economic system that takes often overlooked stakeholders into account. Like Dr. Annie, we consider the animals themselves to be very relevant and important stakeholders in our company’s ecosystem.

For example, it’s often easy to forget that the burger, steak or drumstick on your plate was once an animal. How was that animal raised? How was it treated? Where did it come from? What did it eat? What about hormones and antibiotics? Was its growth artificially accelerated to get to market sooner and reduce feed cost? Here are a few things we think about in answering those questions taken from our piece on Respecting Farm Animals by Paige Brady.

Dairy Cows

Administering synthetic growth hormones such as rBST to dairy cows can increase milk yield and thus the supply of milk, yogurt, cheese, butter, etc. For your convenience, Whole Foods Market offers a wide selection of dairy products, including many from farms that don’t give their cows synthetic growth hormones. In fact, our own 365 Everyday Value® and Whole Foods Market™ brand dairy products (including cheese) are from farmers who pledge not to use rBST. Another great way to avoid them is to choose organic, since the National Organic Standards don’t allow synthetic growth hormones…vote with your dollars!

Cage-free Chickens

Cage-free eggs are from laying hens that move around freely, exercise and scratch about instead of being confined in a cage. All eggs sold in cartons and used in recipes in our Whole Foods Market kitchens and bakehouses are cage free.

Meat and Poultry Standards

Our meat and poultry standards at Whole Foods Market not only allow us to offer the highest quality food to our customers, they take into account the comfort, physical safety and health of the animals. For example, our animal welfare standards require enough space for chickens to run around and flap their wings.

Remember: Every bite has a story. Your conscious food choices make a world of difference.

Food For Thought: How to Feed Your Pet

Ever wonder whether you are feeding your pet too little or too much? Here’s some basic advice from Dr. Annie on proper ways to feed your pet.

How to calculate how much to feed a pet?

• Manufacturers will often provide feeding guidelines on their packaging and/or product guides and web sites
• The guidelines are developed on the needs of an average pet; the true needs of the individual pet can vary by as much as 25% depending on their breed, body composition, environment and activity level
• Work closely with your Animal Wellness Veterinarian to determine the specific amount you should be feeding your pet

How often should I feed my pet?

• Young puppies and kittens should be fed 4-6 times a day. As the puppy or kitten ages, the number of feedings can be gradually decreased so that by the time they have reached 50% of their adult body weight they are eating three meals a day. Most adult healthy pets should be fed twice a day.

How should I feed my pet?

• Free feeding (ad-libitum) is not recommended as this allows the pet access to excessive amounts of food. Over- consumption is one of the key contributing factors to obesity.
• Portion control feedings is the best method to feed a pet. Measure the food using either a standard 237 ml cooking cup or a kitchen scale.
• Always try to feed at approximately the same time and in the same location every day as this will help the pet keep normal elimination habits and avoid accidents.

How should I store the food for my pet and maintain its freshness?

• Always check the packaging for the best before date
• Purchase the right sized bag of food for your pet (e.g. do not buy a 40 lb of dog food for a Chihuahua)
• Store the food in a cool, dry place and keep the storage bin tightly closed
• Always discard any uneaten food each day and clean the bowl before the next meal
• Opened canned foods should be stored covered in the refrigerator for a maximum of 3 days

What snacks and treats should I give my pet?

• Use treats specifically designed for dogs or cats. Human food should never be used as a treat or snack as they are typically high in calories and fat
• Try to feed only low calorie treats
• Treats should only be used as a reward. Never use treats to distract a dog from an undesirable behavior
• Treats do not have to always be food. Treats can also be tummy rubs, playing with a new toy, etc
• The number of treats that any pet receives should be limited to less than 10% of the daily caloric requirements (and the amount of food fed each day should be reduced accordingly by 10%)

Dr. Annie loves Balance-IT for home cooked meals. In fact, as you see here, Dr. Annie recommends home-cooked meals like Balance IT:

WATCH: Beagles Rescued From Research Lab Freed for the First Time

If this story and video doesn’t bring you smiles and happy tears, I just don’t know what will.

For this group of dogs, life didn’t start out that way, though. A total of 72 beagles were removed from a research laboratory in Spain, and 32 of them were adopted in Europe. The future for the remaining 40 dogs was uncertain, until the Beagle Freedom Project stepped in. The Project is part of Animal Rescue Media Education (ARME), a nonprofit started by animal rights attorney and filmmaker, Shannon Keith. Their work is devoted to rescuing and finding homes for beagles formerly used in research. According to their website, beagles are often “friendly, docile, trusting, forgiving, people-pleasing personalities.”

The organization had the 40 dogs flown from Spain to Los Angeles, California where they would find them new homes. Gary Smith of Beagle Freedom Project said, “We’ve been told they lived one per cage in rooms of 10 beagles, but they never had any physical interaction with one another.” “They’ve been in kennels since they were rescued about a week ago, but aside from that, they’ve spent most of their lives locked up,” according to the Huffington Post.

Smith gave us an update today on the beagles who are still adjusting to life free from cages and experiments. “As of now, all of the beagles are with fosters and fosters to adopters. We had eight staying with us in our beagle sanctuary, formerly known as our kitchen. We are down to the two that we plan to foster and adopt if Chloe, our 15 year old cat (who has chronic renal failure) gives us permission. They are Frederick (Freddie) and Douglass (Doug). Of the six we fostered out of our sanctuary, they are all adjusting, some faster than others. It will take time for the dogs to truly trust anyone. Doug allowed me to pet him for the very first time last night, after six days! Freddie gets up at 3 am and runs in circles in our kitchen and outside.”

Big thank you’s to Gary and Shannon Keith and the rest of Beagle Freedom Project for taking in these 40 dogs and changing their world. If you are interested in adopting one of the dogs still in need of a home or making a donation to help, you can get more information here.

Below, watch an amazing video from June of 9 other beagles rescued from a research lab, as Beagle Freedom Project helps them step out of their cages and into grass and sunshine for the first time.

Sarah the Elephant Needs Our Help


Dear Olivia Munn, Ingrid Newkirk, and others

RE: Sarah Cannot Wait Another Day

I am Dr. Annie Harvilicz, the founding veterinarian at Animal Wellness Centers in Los Angeles. I was very moved by your post today “Sarah Cannot Wait Another Day.”

(Mother Jones Article here: )

We want to help, and we have some ideas to share with you.

The Animal Wellness Centers community includes some attorneys. In fact, my brother David is an attorney and performed legal research for Ms. Newkirk several years ago regarding legal efforts to bring poultry under the Humane Slaughter Act.

We would like to help take action immediately to help Sarah.

Instead of waiting for the USDA (frankly we might not like the outcome should USDA decide Sarah should be euthanized) or Feld Entertainment (“Feld”) to do the right thing, we should act ourselves.

Our lawyers think legal action with an innovative cause of action could help drive Feld to do the right thing: I.e., turn Sarah over to an animal sanctuary immediately.

Our lawyers suggest considering a novel legal challenge to the way Sarah is being treated. As you probably know, U.S. law (wrongly) considers animals to be mere chattel or property. Attempting to challenge Feld’s treatment of Sarah in itself, although we believe it should be the strongest argument, will likely not yield the result we want.

Instead, they think there is room for CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT for FRAUD or FRAUDULENT INDUCEMENT to challenge to the way Feld uses Sarah and other elephants to induce Americans to buy tickets to their shows.

As you can see from, health of the animals used in the circus is used as a material selling point to potential buyers (notice for example how they position the “Elephant Conservation” directly beneath the “Buy Tickets” option in the upper right corner of the page).

Finally, we could use to crowdfund resources to help pay for a lawsuit and file very soon.

Please email or call us to discuss further. Thank you for fighting for Sarah. We hope to help in some way.

the Animal Wellness Centers Team