Category Archives: Animal Issues

Rosalie’s kitty, April, has diabetes. Does your companion animal have this “tricky” disease? Know the symptoms!

CAM00065-1April, a few days ago … .
Rosalie figured April might have diabetes when she saw April’s cat litter boxed SOAKED with urine.
Rose took April to the veterinarian’s; the vet did a”senior panel” on the 13 1/2 year old cat (blood work) and determined that April’s glucose level was high. Now on insulin 2x daily, April is her old self! Affectionate, strong willed …
Thank goodness for Wal-Mart – the syringes and insulin (for humans – cats can metabolize their food with human insulin) they sell at their pharmacy is so INEXPENSIVE! A third of what you’d pay at the vet’s! If your pet has the disease and money’s an issue, ask your vet for a prescription and head to the Wal-Mart pharmacy! It’s right in the store! Fast and easy! The pharmacists are helpful and empathetic!         -R.T.

Could Your Cat or Dog Have Diabetes?

Written by Danny Prater | June 18, 2015

I have been living with type 1 diabetes since I was 13 years old. The last time I visited my home state, Ohio (GO BUCKS), I had a chance to meet the only other member of

Just like humans, dogs and cats can also have diabetes. From personal experience, I know that it can be a tough disease, sometimes tricky to manage. This really got me to thinking about what it must be like for a cat or dog living with diabetes. Without any way to tell us directly how they are feeling, companion animals rely on their human guardians to notice when something is off.

But what does diabetes “look” like? While it’s true that you can’t see it, you can certainly see the symptoms if you pay attention to your cat or dog.

Change in Appetite

Baxter the Chihuahua Dog Eating a Treat

Is your dog suddenly eating much more than before? Is your cat leaving a lot of food untouched? An increased or decreased appetite may be a sign of not feeling well.

Weight Loss

When the body is deprived of insulin, which is needed to carry blood sugar to the cells for energy, it will begin burning fat. If your four-legged friend begins rapidly losing weight, especially if coupled with other symptoms on this list, you should schedule a vet appointment ASAP.

Here’s an easy way to tell that something may be amiss: Your animal is eating more than before but still losing weight.

Frequent Urination

For cats, this may take the form of urinating outside the litterbox or frequent urinary tract infections; for dogs, you may notice a sudden jump in requests to go outside. This is because some of the toxins that build up when blood sugar levels go unmanaged are expelled through the urine. Your animal’s body is saying something here—make sure you listen!

Excessive Thirst

This one is actually how I first realized that something was wrong with me. Because of the increase in urination, your dog or cat will be excessively thirsty, attempting to replace those lost fluids. These two symptoms, excessive thirst and urination, will likely go together, so pay attention.

Note: When cats and dogs continue this cycle of frequent urination and excessive thirst, they can become dehydrated. How do you know if a thirsty animal is dehydrated? One quick way to check is by gently pinching up some of the skin and fur on the back and then letting it fall back into place. A well-hydrated animal’s skin will quickly snap back, while a dehydrated animal’s skin will slowly collapse back down.

Sweet-Smelling Breath

When a body deprived of insulin begins burning its own fat stores to supply energy, compounds called ketones are released into the blood stream. Acetone, a type of ketone, is typically expelled from the body through the breath, which will smell unusually fruity or sweet (in stark contrast to most dog and cat foods), so this is an easy way to tell if something is wrong the next time you’re snuggling.


Amsterdam the Dog sleepy© Sean Noronha

When too many ketones enter the bloodstream, the body itself can become acidic. Trust me when I tell you, this feels awful. If your animal companion can’t keep his or her head up for more than a few minutes or has experienced a sudden decrease in energy levels, be sure to get to your vet as soon as possible!


Just like with the toxins pushed out through the breath and urine, this is one of the body’s ways of telling you that it wants something that is currently inside it OUT.

Unkempt Coat/Chronic Skin Infections

Is your cat’s coat losing its shine? You may even notice flakes of dried skin. Has your dog been diagnosed with multiple skin infections? These are signs that your kitty or pooch may be suffering from untreated diabetes.

Cataract Formation/Change in Vision

Extended periods of elevated blood glucose levels can lead to the development of cataracts and, just like in humans, blindness. It’s important to get your animal checked out before symptoms progress too far.

I’m not a doctor, for humans or for animals. If you suspect something is off with your best (non-human) friend after reading this, consult a professional! Always keep an eye—and a hand—on your companion animals. They rely on you to know when something is wrong, so you have to be sure that you know what “normal” looks and feels like for them. Because animals typically consume significantly fewer sugars and carbs than humans do, the signs of untreated diabetes may build up slowly over time. Your veterinarian can perform necessary blood tests to find out what’s going on and get you all set up to take proper care of your cat or dog if diabetes turns out to be an issue.

This summer don’t buy those leather sandals! Get “pleather”! Stop human and animal suffering!

By Paula Moore

When a multistory building that housed several clothing factories collapsed in Bangladesh in 2013, killing more than 1,100 garment workers, the world got a rude awakening: Our cheap clothes come at a high cost to others. This issue is back in the news now that police in Bangladesh have filed formal murder charges against dozens of people for their alleged roles in the tragedy. A hearing is scheduled for June 28.

Most of us would surely agree that no one should be forced to work in a deathtrap just so that those of us in the West can have cheap shirts and sandals. But how can we ensure that the clothes in our closets haven’t caused others to suffer needlessly?

The simplest way is to stop buying leather.

Just as the manufacture of other types of clothing has been outsourced to countries such as Bangladesh and China, where wages are low and unsafe working conditions are common, so has the production of leather goods.

PETA’s affiliate PETA Germany investigated the growing leather trade in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Witnesses visited the poor residential district of Hazaribagh in Dhaka, where 15,000 laborers, some as young as 10, toil in more than 200 tanneries.

Workers stand barefoot in toxic chromium effluent and handle acids and bleaches that can cause chronic skin diseases and even cancer. Even if workers are given cheap rubber boots to wear, they’re often not equipped with face masks or safety goggles to protect against the fumes that can cause severe respiratory problems. A full 90 percent of tannery workers there die before the age of 50.

Studies in India, too, have shown that tannery workers face a high mortality rate, mostly from respiratory diseases resulting from chromium exposure. Chromium, one of the most widely used—and dangerous—chemicals in the tanning process, produces the toxic chemical byproduct hexavalent chromium, or chromium VI, which is a known human carcinogen. Several studies have established links between the chromium used in tanning and cancer of the sinuses and lungs.

These chemicals endanger not only tannery workers but also those who live nearby. Mineral salts, formaldehyde, coal-tar derivatives, cyanide-based dyes and other dangerous substances are routinely used during tanning, and they are often simply dumped into rivers or on riverbanks.

A study conducted by India’s National Cancer Registry Programme found that people living along the banks of the Ganges River in Uttar Pradesh, Bengal and Bihar are more prone to developing cancer than people living anywhere else in the country. In Kanpur, a city in Uttar Pradesh, alone, there are about 400 tanneries on the banks of the Ganges.

And of course, animals suffer, too. Animals killed for their skins are some of the most abused beings on the planet. Because skin is the most economically important coproduct of the meat industry, buying leather supports factory farms, where animals are warehoused in dark, crowded sheds, and slaughterhouses. Farmed animals’ eyes and lungs burn from the stench of ammonia, and they are castrated and dehorned without the benefit of any painkillers. At the slaughterhouse, as the terrified animals are prodded and kicked along to their death, they can smell, hear and see what is happening to those in front of them in the slaughter line.

The good news is that it’s easy to get the look of leather—if that’s what you want—without contributing to such suffering. A growing number of retailers now offer shoes, jackets, handbags, wallets and other items made from cork, bark, vegan Ultrasuede derived from post-industrial polyester, microfibers made from recycled plastic bottles and other high-quality materials that are less harmful than leather—for both humans and animals.

Make a super summer smoothie! Super easy!

We vegetarians need our protein boosts! Smoothies, the ultimate power guzzle, can give us that quick fix! Replace milk and yogurt with their soy culinary counterparts, pull out your blender and get blendin’! Soy milk is way better for you than milk, anyways! Flavored, too! And the price is rite at PRICE RITE supermarkets, located right here in Woo! …So cows don’t have to suffer to bring you your calcium!

– R.T.







Tweet! Tweet! A little birdie told us Allen Fletcher recently bought this chunk of land in Kelley Square …


.. for around a million bucks. You know the piece of land (pictured above) – it sorta juts out into Kelley Square. It’s the piece of no-man’s land on the corner of Water and Green streets. Mostly used for parking these days …

Should be interesting to see how Allen reinvents the property!

Allen works fast!

He’ll probably have workmen (and workwomen, we hope!) at the site by next year, digging and bulldozing away!


Here’s Allen’s chance to shine! Come through for people who aren’t the latte-drinking, beer-guzzling or narcissistic poseurs who seem to have taken over my old (and present) hood! So fake! So phony! Most have a talent for nothing  … except blatant self-promotion! It’s manipulative … not real. Just public relations. No one is anyone’s friend in the true, warts-and-all sense. Such garbage!


Get back to our roots!

Build up the neighborhood by creating a building/complex/NEW world to draw in:

Children/youth. They could use a branch library or an after-school center in your new space!

The families in the area, many without cars or a lot of dough. They could use a community health center in your new building. A YMCA branch, perhaps?

A CVS would be terrific! We need a pharmacy in the hood!

We need a bank branch, too!

A supermarket or TRADER JOE’S open SEVEN DAYS A WEEK, with normal working person’s hours and AFFORDABLE stuff and amenable to WIC, SNAP cards and the folks who have them (cuz they are poor) IS DESPERATELY NEEDED here!  Has been for YEARS!

If you put in housing, besides the retail, PLEASE make 30% of it affordable! 

MAKE THE NEIGHBORHOOD TRULY DIVERSE AND LIVELY, Allen! Make it more than a haven for preppy young or want-to-be-young bar flies.

Create a vibrant day scene, by putting in families and kids and the more mundane stuff that keeps them doing stuff … create a neighborhood that HUMS during the day!!

You’re a good guy who doesn’t want to exclude folks, a guy who doesn’t want to see the neighborhood become a one-trick pony (barsville). That’s BORING! And you pride yourself on reinvention and risk! PERSONAL GROWTH.

Good luck in your new endeavor! and … DO THE RIGHT THINGS!

– Rosalie!

Cruelty-free summer skin care!


From PETA.ORG! Click on the blue words to see a company’s website! Many products, like Burt’s Bees and Bonne Bell, are available at Walgreens and other easy-to-get-to pharmacies in Worcester!  Don’t forget: ELF, PHYSICIAN’S FORMULA and WET ‘N’ WILD are cruelty-free make-up companies. Their great products are available at Target, Walgreens, even Price Chopper!

Easier than ever to be kind to animals!

– R. Tirella

Give  bunnies a break this summer by tossing your animal-tested products in favor of cruelty-free sunscreens, sunless tanners, moisturizers, and insect repellents. Some personal-care product companies are still living in the Dark Ages: They needlessly pump their products into animals’ stomachs; rub them onto animals’ raw, shaved skin; squirt them into their eyes; or force animals to inhale them. It’s time for these companies to throw in the animal-testing towel!

Finding animal-friendly skin-care products is a breeze, thanks to the hundreds of companies riding the cruelty-free wave. All the companies on our list have assured PETA in writing that they will not test their products on animals. Click here for cruelty-free companies.

Makers of Cruelty-Free Sunscreens

Abra Therapeutics

Bronzo Sensualé

California North

Kiss My Face

Malibu Sun

Ocean Potion

Makers of Cruelty-Free Sunless Tanners

Bonne Bell

California North

Kiss My Face

Ocean Potion

Makers of Cruelty-Free After-Sun Moisturizers

Abra Therapeutics

Bonne Bell

Bronzo Sensualé

Kiss My Face

Malibu Sun


Makers of Cruelty-Free Insect Repellent

Burt’s Bees

All Terrain

Search for more cruelty-free products.


Are vegetarians more compassionate than meat-eaters?

By Paula Moore

According to a new study by an international team of researchers, your thoughts about marriage equality and racial justice could be linked to your affinity for steaks and sausages. In other words, if the idea of killing another living being for dinner doesn’t leave a bad taste in your mouth, then you’re probably not too bothered by other social injustices, either.

The study, “Rationalizing Meat Consumption. The 4 Ns,” published in the journal Appetite, found that people who justify eating animals by claiming that it is “natural,” “normal,” “necessary” or “nice”—even though it is none of these things—are more tolerant of social inequality in general.

Historically, these same “Ns” have been trotted out to justify everything from slavery to homophobia. For instance, as the study notes, “In defense of male-only voting practices in the U.S. opponents of women’s suffrage often appealed to the necessity of denying women the vote … to the natural superiority of male intelligence, and to the historical normalness of male-only voting as ‘designed by our forefathers.’ … Today, most people find such arguments in support of male-only voting ludicrous at best.”

This confirms what PETA has long maintained: The mindset that condones the oppression of other humans—whether Jews, women, gays or people of color—is the same mindset that permits the exploitation of animals. Prejudices of any stripe arise when we start to believe that “I” am important and “you” are not, that my interests somehow trump those of other living beings.

It’s not surprising that meat-eaters find it necessary to defend their behavior, which is increasingly coming under public scrutiny. In this day and age, anyone who’s been paying attention knows that raising and killing animals for food is destroying the planet, jeopardizing our health and causing tremendous suffering to billions of sentient beings. In today’s meat and dairy industries, animals know little else but pain, fear, injury and disease. Piglets have their tails and testicles cut off without being given painkillers, chickens and turkeys have their throats cut while they’re still conscious and calves are taken away from their mothers within hours of birth.

And the United Nations reports that a global shift toward a vegan diet is necessary if we want to combat the worst effects of climate change.

It’s simpler to make excuses—”I grew up eating meat; it’s normal,” or “A plate of spare ribs is so nice after a hard day”—than it is to change behavior. It’s easy to shake our heads in disbelief at what others before us have done but not so easy to examine honestly the biases and prejudices that we hold today.

But there’s hope. As more consumers begin to question the status quo and reject the inherent violence of eating animals, the world will become a kinder place for all of us.

A previous study found that vegans and vegetarians have more empathy than meat-eaters do—for both animals and their fellow humans. Researchers in Europe placed volunteers in an MRI machine and showed them a series of random pictures during scanning. The scans revealed that when observing animal or human suffering, the “empathy-related” areas of the brain are more active among vegetarians and vegans. The researchers also found that there are certain brain areas that only vegans and vegetarians seem to activate when witnessing suffering.

Compassion begets compassion. Change can happen when we begin to recognize that all oppression, prejudice and cruelty are wrong—and that all are connected. We can start with dinner.

Proper care of rabbits



Rescued rabbits!

By Franny McKeever

As a volunteer with the House Rabbit Network, a rabbit rescue organization based in Woburn, Massachusetts, that rescues and adopts out well over a hundred bunnies each year, I have seen the post-easter/spring flood of abandoned bunnies, dumped in various locations after the novelty of a cute bunny wears off and the reality of the care involved sets in.

This flood continues year round.

The luckier ones get rescued and survive.

Domestic bunnies do not belong outside any more than a pet Yorkshire Terrier does. They are not suited or accustomed to extreme temperatures. They are easy prey for a variety of animals. How is a white bunny with black spots going to blend in and hide outdoors? So while some people unthinkingly assume they are giving a bunny it’s freedom others will simply leave the bunny in a box somewhere or worse.

Some bunnies will be left off at shelters to possibly await euthanasia if not adopted soon enough because space is limited.

The problem is that a bunny is treated as a novelty pet, sometimes described as a starter pet.

The truth is a bunny is  high-maintenance pet.  A house rabbit is a pet that requires research and understanding. This is assuming that the person does know that a rabbit is an indoor pet that does not thrive in an outdoor hutch, cowering in the corner near the garage.

A bunny must have time to roam in a bunny proofed area of a home, as a cat or dog would, surrounded by those who love him.

So this is the destiny that awaits a huge population of bunnies, irresponsibly bred by breeders and sold to the public or pet stores, perpetuating this cycle of unwanted rabbits at Easter time and throughout the year. Pet stores advertise young bunnies for easter, often not quite weaned. Even the most experienced vet would have a hard time identifying the gender of these young bunnies and yet they are sold off sometimes in pairs causing yet more unwanted bunnies.  Reckless, but well meaning adults buy these bunnies for their children, who understand even less about interacting and caring for a bunny.

As a prey animal, a rabbit needs to have space to trust that they are safe and should not be bombarded by the high activity of a child. They have fragile bones that can easily break if dropped by a child, who doesn’t know that rabbits don’t really want to be held in the first place, but rather feel safer when their feet are on the ground. Parental supervision is critical with small children.

More knowledge is required in regard to feeding. Rabbits are prone to digestive issues and they can easily develop GI symptoms, which can worsen quickly if not tended to correctly. Therefore dietary understanding is extremely important. Bunnies must have fresh hay at all times and also be correctly fed the right fresh vegetables.  Most treats found in pet stores are not actually good for your rabbit.

Pet store owners and breeders may also neglect to tell you that rabbits must be spayed and neutered at 3-5 months of age to prevent certain cancers as well as make them happy and well behaved house pets.

Otherwise litterbox habits will generally go out the window as bunnies start marking your house up with territorial droppings. There can be personality changes as well. This is very often the time when uneducated bunny owners decide to abandon their bunnies.

Adopters know that you save the cost of this very expensive operation when adopting from a shelter and at the same time give a former Easter bunny or unwanted bunny a home.

So before you consider surprising some family member with a rabbit, take into consideration an entirely bigger picture. Be sure you are totally committed to caring for one of these wonderful and entertaining animals for the next 10-12 years. Take the time to research bunny care and decide if this is really the right pet for you.

A bunny should never be an impulse buy. It is a very affectionate, social but also high-maintenance pet that deserves to be treated respectfully and not as a commodity.

Six reasons why big cats don’t belong in circuses!

We’ve poured our hearts into the elephants-don’t-belong-in-circuses crusade. Progress!

NOW IT’S TIME TO SAVE THE BIG CATS WHO SUFFER in Ringling and other traveling shows. LIONS, TIGERS, PANTHERS, COUGARS … all of these MAGNIFICENT AND MAJESTIC wild cats have captivated humankind’s imagination for millennia. Because they are so big, so beautiful, so exotic. All the more reason to let them BE FREE IN THE WILD, WHERE THEY BELONG.     – Rosalie Tirella


Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus made headlines when it announced that it was phasing out its cruel and dangerous elephant acts by 2018. However, many circuses, including Ringling, continue to exploit and abuse big cats, and, for those animals, there is no end in sight yet.

Here are six reasons why big cats do NOT belong in circuses:

1. In circuses, big cats are often forced to live intiny, cramped cages.

Caged Tigers in Caravan

Circuses routinely cart animals from town to town in barren cages that deprive lions and tigers of opportunities to fulfill their basic needs to exercise, roam, socialize, forage, and play. Many big cats are forced to eat, drink, sleep, defecate, and urinate in the same place. The only relief that many are given from this nearly perpetual confinement is during their brief performances, when they are subjected to whippings and roaring crowds. As a result of captivity, many big cats are overweight, while others suffer psychologically. The stressful, unnatural environment can cause some to pace back and forth or even mutilate themselves.

2. Their maternal bond is broken.

Tiger in Cage

In the wild, young tigers grow up with their mothers, but animals used in circuses are often separated long before they would naturally part, causing emotional distress for both mothers and cubs.

3. Their basic social and physiological needs are denied.

Tigers are naturally semi-nocturnal and love the water. In circuses, they’re carted around and forced to perform in the daytime and denied access to any kind of watering hole.

Adult tigers are solitary animals, but circuses ignore this fact and make them live in unnatural and often incompatible groups, sometimes resulting in fights and injuries.

CLICK HERE to read more!

Today! Kitten shower at WARL!!

At the Worcester Animal Rescue League

139 Holden St.

Noon – 2 p.m.

I visted WARL yesterday, took a few photos. If you go to the kitten shower this afternoon, you’ll meet this cutie …


… and, of course, these lovelies. (Sigh …. what people do to animals.)  Please give these beauties LOVING forever homes! – Rosalie Tirella 




Kitten Shower 2015!

TODAY!  Sunday! APRIL 19

12 PM – 2 PM

Similar to a baby shower, WARL’s kitten shower is a great opportunity to help the shelter prepare for the upcoming kitten season.

During the event you can learn about:

becoming a foster parent

try your luck at the raffle

meet the purr-fect felines waiting to be adopted

… and maybe even meet some kittens currently in foster care!

Bring a gift to the shower and enter to win a door prize!

Admission: Please donate a kitten related item.

Currently we are in need of:

Kitchen Scales (that measure ounces)

Kitten Milk Replacement (KMR)

Cat toys, particularly the fake mice type

Meat-flavored baby food

Dish soap

“he” Laundry detergent


Paper towels

Cat nip