Hi and welcome to Monday Pet Roundup!

Nothing better than good news, and I love these tearjerker stories from USA Today. Read about the rescue of deserving pets such as Choo Choo the Boxer, who had been ruthlessly abandoned tied to the train tracks, and a Basset Hound who also was found near the tracks, apparently hit by a train and lost a leg and part of an ear. There’s also the story of a Pointer-mix who was adopted after waiting in a shelter for 8 years for his forever home. Although I got teary thinking of the hard times that befell these pets, they now all have happy endings.

If you love cats, you’ll enjoy the latest edition of Catnip Chronicles. Dr. Eric Barchas, DVM discusses coughing in cats including reasons for coughing and recommended course of action. Also, learn how to teach your cat to come or stand on its hind legs.

Who is the top dog in American pop culture? The dog in the song “How Much is that Doggie in the Window” or in the picture of dogs playing poker? Perhaps it’s Snoopy, or Eddie the dog from Frasier, or a sports mascot such as Texas A&M’s Reveille or Georgtown’s bulldog? The AKC conducted a survey to find out who America voted for.

Good Morning America reports that dognapping is on the rise. They suggest never letting your dog run loose or leaving your dog unattended in the car. Also, have your pet microchipped, and consider the AKC’s Lost Pet Alert if your pet is stolen or missing. This great service sends out an e-mail notification to veterinarians, shelters and animal control agencies within a 50-mile radius asking them to be on the lookout.

We all know that puppy mills are bad news. But here’s some good news: More than 400 pet stores across the country have signed The Humane Society of the United States’ puppy friendly pet store pledge. The stores promise not to sell puppies, but instead to support local animal adoption programs.

“Pet stores that profit from the cruel puppy mill industry need to stop their puppy sales. We encourage people who want a new pet to first consider adoption from local shelters and rescue groups, which are filled with healthy, loving dogs who need a family of their own…” Stephanie Shain, senior director of The HSUS’ puppy mills campaign, said in a statement.

According to the Humane Society website, puppy mills are mass production facilities that churn out large numbers of puppies under inhumane conditions for sale at pet stores. The breeding dogs at puppy mills spend their entire lives in cramped cages or kennels with little or no personal attention or quality of life. Consumers who purchase puppies from pet stores often unknowingly supporting the puppy mill industry.

I can’t walk into a pet store without wanting to free all those puppies in cages. Can you?

What do you think was the best pet news last year? How can we help our pets more this year? I’d love to hear from you. And, join us again next Monday for more Pet Roundup.