Sunday, July 31, 2011

Health Officials Issue Warning on Rabid Bats

Gleaned directly from our own Los Angeles Times:

"In the wake of a recent uptick of rabid bats in Ventura and Los Angeles counties, health officials are warning the public not to handle bats or other wildlife.

"Twelve rabid bats have been found scattered across Los Angeles County since the beginning of the year, numbers that are above normal.

"Typically, about eight to 10 rabid bats are found each year, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Heath.


"These numbers do not mean that the public should become alarmed. Most bats do not have rabies," Dr. Jonathan Fielding, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, said in a statement Friday. "However we want everyone to be aware of what they should do if they see a bat on the ground, or if they or their pets come into contact with a bat."

Read the rest of the article at the link.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

10 Bats Test Positive for Rabies in Moorpark

Here I go again with another rabies post - but we can never do enough to get the word about this very real deadly disease threat in our own neighborhood. Moorpark, like much of Los Angeles County, has a bat rabies problem. And these rabid bats can and do get inside people's homes on a regular basis. So this report from the Sacramento Bee comes as absolutely NO surprise. Well, other than that we have to find out about this from a newspaper up north.....

This serves as a reminder that we need to keep our cats (and dogs) current on their rabies vaccinations at all times and regardless of their lifestyles. Rabies vaccine is extremely safe and highly effective, so there is no medical justification for not giving it (other than recent fever or physical debilitation).

And of course annual rabies vaccinations are an important time for your cat to get its annual or semi-annual physical exam to ensure that all its health needs are being met.

Read more about rabies at CDC's web page.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Prison Possible in Cats' Deaths

Animal abuse seems to know no bounds. I support harsh punishment for those who deliberately harm pets. Such people are often just a short step away from doing the same thing to humans.

I try not to read too many of these sorts of stories - they make me almost physically ill.

From the Omaha World Herald:

A Nebraska City man who police say strangled two of his family's cats now faces a possible prison term.
Police arrested Eric Inman, 47, last week after they found the pets buried in the back yard of his residence. He has since been charged with two felony counts of animal cruelty, which carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
A veterinarian who examined the cats determined they died by strangulation, said police Capt. Lonnie Neeman.
"We have animal neglect calls about every day, but we've never had anything quite like this before," he said.



Read the rest of the story here.

Threatened Snow Leopards Found in Afghanistan

In a little good news from the endangered species front, it appears that snow leopards are thriving in some remote mountainous regions of Afghanistan.

No, we don't treat non-domestic species of cats here at Cat's Meow Veterinary Clinic, but I have a special fondness for these guys and other big cats anyway. You might have noticed the large print of a snow leopard in our waiting room (and which has sadly faded, but I can't bring myself to take it down just yet).

As humans multiply and wild lands become more and more "developed", there are fewer safe havens for large predators such as this. Let's hope that we have the sense to leave these guys' home turf untouched for the forseeable future.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Parking Meters

Last week at some point the parking meters out front got upgraded to the new version that accepts credit cards in addition to coins. We have been eagerly awaiting this change, hoping it would solve the 20-year-old problem of our local parking meters being broken more often than not.

Unfortunately, it seems we STILL have a problem, Houston.

For those who don't know - for the past TWENTY YEARS the meters out front have frequently taken money and yet provided no time. They have been broken. People have complained endlessly; unseen elves come and "fix" them; they function properly for a brief time, and then malfunction again. This has been an issue for as long as we have been here, which as I mentioned was TWENTY YEARS. No one from the city has made any attempt to replace the obviously broken meters. They prefer to ticket the hapless victims.

And therein lies the real problem. In Los Angeles it is illegal to park at a broken meter. You WILL be ticketed. It matters not how much money you put into said meter that you got no value for. It matters not that every meter for half a block is broken. You can't park there, and you will be ticketed if you do.

I swear it's some sort of a racket: the city makes far more money with all the ticketing than it ever would by fixing the meters permanently and then just collecting the parking fees.

I think our only hope for a permanent fix is to raise some hell as a community, so here is what I propose: everybody who has ever been ripped off by the meters at our curb needs to call the city at 311 and complain bitterly and at great length about how Woodland Hills Parking Meters #25, 25A, 26, 26A, and 27 are defective and perpetually breaking down. If enough people make a stink about it, something might just get done. Also, please feel free to call Councilman Zine's office at (818) 756-8848 and complain about how the meters, for TWENTY YEARS, have only had band-aid fixes and keep breaking.

In the meantime, good luck using the new meters. Someone has already complained to me that one wouldn't take their card. Please don't complain to me. The meters are not the responsibility of business owners. We have zero control over them. The CITY is responsible.

And of course you can always park behind our clinic, or next door in the lot at Papa John's (the building's owner has personally told me that he doesn't care if my clients park there, and nobody is using the lot until almost noon most days anyway). If you do park next door, please be considerate of that building's customers and do not take the prime spots near the street, but instead park toward the alley.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Holiday Weekend Closure

We will be closed Saturday July 2 through Monday July 4 for the Independence Day holiday weekend. If you have an emergency, please call Veterinary Specialists of the Valley at 818-883-8387.

Have a safe and happy weekend!