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WebClawer: Cesar Millan's advice to the Obamas, Puppy Bowl announcer Harry Kalas dies, U.K. cat chooses vegetarian diet

April 13, 2009 |  5:34 pm

Cesar Millan at Dog Whisperer headquarters From Bo the First Dog to an unusual U.K. cat, animals are making headlines all over the world today.  These are a few of the stories that grabbed our attention:

-- Dog Whisperer (and new U.S. citizen) Cesar Millan has some words of wisdom for the Obama family as they get settled with their new Portuguese water dog puppy, Bo.  "The best piece of advice I can give the Obama family is wisdom passed down from my grandfather: Never work against Mother Nature," Millan said. "Fulfill your dog's inborn needs -- exercise, discipline, affection, in that order -- and you will have the foundation for a balanced human-canine relationship."  Millan also singled out Malia Obama, saying he was "impressed to hear [she] had done her research in advance."  (People Pets)

-- Sportscaster Harry Kalas died today at age 73.  Kalas was undoubtedly best known as the voice of the Philadelphia Phillies; he also narrated NFL films and radio broadcasts.  But animal lovers may be more familiar with his work on another "sporting" event: Animal Planet's annual Puppy Bowl.  "Players come and go, but 'Outta here!' -- that's forever," said Scott Franzke, a Phillies radio broadcaster.  (L.A. Times)

-- The company that marketed Michael Vick chew toys for dogs is being sued by consumers who say they were misled to believe purchases benefited charity.  Others say they paid for the toys but never received them.  Jaime Salcedo and his company, Showbiz Promotions, could face $10,000 in penalties for each violation under the Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.  Salcedo says donations were made to animal shelters, but that they usually took the form of free merchandise rather than monetary donations.  Salcedo also faces legal issues over the "Caylee Sunshine" doll, which critics say is modeled after a murdered Florida toddler named Caylee Anthony.  (Salcedo says the doll was intended to be a tribute to Anthony's memory.)  (CNN)

-- The Spokane, Wash., Parks and Recreation department has authorized the use of a machine called the Rodenator Pro to "detonate" squirrels that are damaging the grounds at the city's Finch Arboretum.  The machine pumps propane and oxygen into squirrels' tunnels, then sends an electric spark that causes an explosion that kills the rodents and collapses the tunnels.  According to the parks department, this method is a humane way to kill the problem squirrels.  (Associated Press)

-- A rescued U.K. cat named Dante has raised eyebrows for his culinary choices: he's a devoted vegetarian.  Although owner Becky Page has tried to feed him more typical cat fare like chicken and tuna, Dante turns up his nose in favor of melon, bananas, broccoli, rhubarb and asparagus.  "I admit he has a very, very unique appetite -- but he's certainly healthy," Page says.  But some U.K. cat experts argue that cats need meat to survive.  (Telegraph)

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Millan at his Dog Psychology Center in South L.A.  Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

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