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United Airlines mistakenly flies dog to Japan instead of Kansas City

United Airlines is under fire again after a family said the carrier accidentally sent their dog to Japan instead of Kansas City.

>> RELATED STORY: Dog dies on United Airlines flight after being placed in overhead bin

According to KCTV, Kara Swindle and her family, who are moving from Oregon to Kansas, took a United flight to Kansas City. Their dog, a 10-year-old German shepherd named Irgo, was supposed to be waiting in a United cargo facility when they arrived. 

But that wasn't the case.

When the Swindles went to pick up Irgo, they were greeted by a Great Dane instead, KCTV reported Wednesday. They soon learned that the airline had mixed up the two dogs and mistakenly flew Irgo to Japan, the Great Dane's intended destination.

>> Read more trending news 

In a statement, United told KCTV: "An error occurred during connections in Denver for two pets sent to the wrong destinations. We have notified our customers that their pets have arrived safely and will arrange to return the pets to them as soon as possible. We apologize for this mistake and are following up with the vendor kennel where they were kept overnight to understand what happened."

Irgo will be returned to the Swindles "later this week," KCTV reported.

The news comes the same week another family's dog died on a United flight after a flight attendant reportedly said the pet had to travel in an overhead bin.

Read more here.

Dogs love donated chairs at shelter

The dogs awaiting adoption at one Illinois animal shelter no longer have to sleep on a cold floor.

>> Read more trending news 

The Knox County Humane Society posted a Facebook video Monday of their adoptable dogs lounging comfortably in donated chairs. Goober, Mickey, Tango and Buster Brown are seen making themselves at home on the chairs until they find their forever home.


The Knox County Humane Society wrote on Facebook, "The shelter pets absolutely love their chairs! If anyone has any older chairs they no longer want, please think of the shelter pets!"

Seasonal allergies could be affecting your pets

The weather in some parts of the country is not helping people with allergies, and your pets could also be feeling the effects of the high pollen (and other allergens) count. 

>> Read more trending news 

Pets are often sniffling grass, other pets and the ground. They are also much closer to where the allergens can sit, so they could be more exposed to more allergens, such as pollen. 

>> On More weather facts and hacks

Just like humans, dogs and cats can sneeze, get watery eyes and runny noses. Allergies can make these symptoms worse. According to the Humane Society, dogs often express pollen allergy symptoms by itching. The pollen gets on their fur, makes its way down to their skin and irritates it. 

>> On Interactive: Common medications used to treat your cough

Here are some ways to help your pet cope with seasonal allergies:

  • Consult your veterinarian to make sure the irritation on the skin is not something worse. Your veterinarian can prescribe allergy medicine if needed. 
  • Try to limit activities outdoors, especially in the morning, when pollen levels are the highest.
  • After a walk, wash or wipe your pet's face and paws a wet towel. Just like in humans, the pollen can be washed out. 
  • When you bathe your pets, use warm water when applying shampoo and cool water to wash it off. Cold water helps with the itching. 

Westminster Dog Show 2018: See the best in show, group winners

The Westminster Kennel Club has a new best in show for 2018. Flynn the bichon frisé was crowned top dog Tuesday at Madison Square Garden in New York.

>> MORE: Complete list of winners Photo gallery

>> Read more trending news 

Photos: Westminster Dog Show 2018: Bichon frisé Flynn crowned best in show

Flynn the bichon frisé won best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club on Tuesday night, a choice that seemed to surprise almost everyone in the crowd at Madison Square Garden in New York.

WATCH: Police officers rescue freezing puppy found under Florida bridge

Police in Daytona Beach, Florida, released video of two animal control officers rescuing a pit bull puppy who was left under a bridge in freezing temperatures.

>> Click here to watch

In the video posted on the Daytona Beach Police Department’s Facebook page, you can see the puppy shaking uncontrollably because she was so cold. The animal control officers did everything they could to warm her up.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

A passer-by called police after seeing the puppy in the cold water.

The animal control officers found her under the Seabreeze Bridge in mid-January when the temperatures had fallen to below freezing.

>> Read more trending news 

One of the Daytona Beach police officers adopted the puppy, now named River, and she is safe and in a loving home.

Internet cat community mourns death of Oskar the Blind Cat

Oskar the Blind Cat, who touched and entertained people around the world, has died. He was six years old.

Oskar’s death was sudden, his owners reported Monday on their social media channels. The cause of death was likely heart failure. Oskar showed no signs of illness before his death. 

>> Read more trending news 

Oskar was born in May 2011 on a farm in Iowa. He was born with a severe form of microphthalmia, a genetic condition which prevented his eyes from fully developing. Oskar was adopted the same year by Mick and Bethany Szydlowski, a couple in Nebraska who began to chronicle life with a blind cat on social media. The couple have another cat, Klaus, a former stray who quickly became Oskar's sidekick. A YouTube video of Oskar playing with the air from a hair dryer went viral, launching him into internet stardom.

In addition to sharing the antics of Oskar and Klaus, the Szydlowskis use social media to promote adoptions of special needs animals across the country. The couple and both cats moved to Seattle in 2012.An outpouring of condolences from other internet cat celebrities and their owners followed the news of his death.

New petition aims to expand food stamps to include pet food

new petition aims to convince the federal government to modify food stamp rules so that low-income people are allowed to use them to purchase food for their pets, WGN-TV reports.

So far, the petition has garnered the signatures of more than 80,000 people and has gained the support of several animal welfare organizations, according to the Sacramento Bee. Advocates say expanding food stamps in such a way could keep thousands of animals out of shelters and make them the only government program that helps low-income people care for their pets.

>> Read more trending news 

“It’s potentially game-changing,” Matt Bershadker, the president of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, told the Bee. “I think we should get behind this in a big way.”

Once the petition reaches 90,000 signatures, it will be presented to the USDA. However, it appears to have little chance of succeeding given the political and logistical challenges of changing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Since 1964, the program has specifically excluded pet food by defining “food” as “any food or food product for human consumption.” Altering that definition would require Congressional action. Additionally, there are several administrative challenges to overcome in actually implementing such a policy.

“I can’t imagine how the government would decide on, say, how much more money a family should get if they have a Bernese mountain dog,” Craig Gundersen, an agricultural economist at the University of Illinois and an expert on the food-stamp program, told the Bee. “Would this be more than for, say, a Sheltie?”

In the meantime, several charities and nonprofit organizations are attempting to fill the void by launching programs that distribute donated pet food to those in need. While their efforts are truly appreciated, these organizations are not currently able to provide for all families struggling to feed their pets.

“Being poor is hard enough without being expected to give up your companion,” said Edward Johnston Jr., the creator of the petition.

Veterinarians warn pet owners of dog flu

As humans battle the flu this year, dog owners are also being told that their pets could become ill with their version of influenza, no matter what time of the year.

As a result some veterinarians are taking steps to educate pet owners about how they can protect their furry friends, WHIO reported

At Dayton South Veterinary Clinic, the first thing pet owners see when they enter the facility is a sign that lists the symptoms of dog flu.

>> Read more trending news 

It then asks owners not to go any further if their pets have any of the symptoms to avoid infecting other animals with the virus. 

Canine influenza is a virus that is highly contagious, according to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation.

Like the human version of the flu, there are different strains, according to AVMF.

It can be transmitted via coughing, barking or sneezing and dogs who visit kennels, groomers, animal daycares or shelters are at risk of picking up the virus.

The strain called H3N8 can stay viable for up to 48 hours, with an incubation period of 1 to 5 days, with symptoms usually coming 2 to 3 days after exposure, according to AVMF.

Symptoms include:

  • cough for 10-21 days despite treatment of antibiotics or cough suppressants.
  • Nasal discharge
  • Eye discharge
  • Sneezing
  • Lethargy
  • Fever

In addition, Dr. Daniel Brauer at the clinic insists that his patients make sure their dogs get their annual flu shots.

“There's even been some concerned cases from a doggy daycare center here in Dayton, in the Dayton area,” he said. “People are coming in now that were associated with that daycare center to have their pets vaccinated, because they're worried.” 

Unlike human flu, dog flu is year round, but recently a strand of avian flu spreads to dogs in the U.S., and there’s an uptick in cases nationwide. 

“If the pets are unvaccinated, you definitely don't want to take them to daycare centers, kennels,” Brauer said

“Your pet just needs to sniff it, and they will get it if they’re not vaccinated,” Brauer told WHIO

Study says people would rather hang out with their dogs than friends

A new study says that most dog owners would rather spend time with their pup than their friends.

Fox News reported that a study of 2,000 dog owners conducted by smart dog collar company Link AKC says more than half prefer their pet over pals. Owners said they sometimes skip out on social events to be with their dog.

>> Read more trending news 

Eighty-one percent of those surveyed said they spoke to their dog like they would a friend. Single dog owners were twice as likely to talk to their pet about relationship problems. Eighty percent of owners said it’s a deal breaker if their partner didn’t like their dog.

The study found that six in 10 pet owners said their dog takes care of them in some way, with many saying their pet helped them get through a breakup or death of a loved one. 

Sixty-two percent of the pet owners surveyed said their dogs helped get them out the house at least twice a day for a walk and more than two-thirds said their dog helps them exercise more regularly.

“The physical benefits of dog ownership are often the first that come to mind, but we’ve found the emotional and mental health benefits of having a furry companion are just as impactful,” Link AKC chief marketing officer Herbie Calves told Fox News. “People consider their dogs members of their family and are looking for ways to connect and interact with them on a deeper level.”

The survey supports Calves’ claim. Fifty-five percent say unconditional love and constant companionship is among the biggest benefit of dog ownership.

“Dog ownership is a great responsibility but also comes with great physical, emotional and mental benefits,” Calves said.

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