Life at Vet U Follows Penn Vet Students

    Life at Vet U  is an exciting documentary series about local veterinary hospital Penn Vet. The six-part series premieres on Saturday, October 1, 2016 and airs Saturdays at 10pm ET on Animal Planet.

    Life at Vet U

    Local veterinary hospital University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) will be featured in a gritty documentary series on Animal Planet starting Saturday, October 1st, 2016. The six part series follows six students as they are trained by top experts in the industry and work towards graduation. Daily challenges and high-stress, fast-paced emergencies make any pet owner hold their breath. You will have a whole new appreciation at what it takes to become a veterinarian. The six-part series premieres Saturday, October 1 at 10 PM ET.

    Penn Vet School

    Life at Vet U Hospital RoomPenn Vet is a global leader in veterinary education, research and clinical care. Everyone in Philly knows that Penn Vet is the best of the best.Penn Vet has some of the most advanced technology in the industry. It’s the first place every Philadelphia dog owner goes in an emergency situation or if their dog needs special care.

    But did you know that they treat nearly 40,000 patients a year?  They handle everything from routine check-ups to, chemotherapy, and intricate cataract surgery. Penn Vet students are constantly challenged to be prepared for anything – including treating zebras!

    Six Part Series

    This six part series shows how personal and professional relationships grow in life-changing moments. Not just for the students, but also for the animals. Students complete years of never-ending studying, round-the-clock rotations and tackle unpredictable cases. The hard work and emotional struggles are worth it. You’ll experience the student’s anticipation as they brace themselves for the most important day of their career: Match Day. On Match Day, students find out where they will intern. Will work at their dream hospital? they scramble to even find a placement?

    Life at Vet U follows each student on the road to becoming a veterinarian. It’s is a show about personal journeys and proof that every student has the same passion – to improve the lives of animals.

    A New Direction . . .

    It’s hard to believe that it’s been five years since I started – a website that truly changed my life in so many ways. From helping me transition into an entirely new career to opening my heart up to animals in a way I never thought possible, this site has truly been my baby.

    But maintaining a site, particularly one in which is so focused on local events and happenings, is hard to do. Particularly when you spend all day at work on the computer – the last thing I want to do when I come home is update the site. I have also found that I’ve strayed away from my original mission behind ThePhillyDog – to be the essential guide to owning a dog in the greater Philadelphia metro area. While product reviews and giveaways are fun (who doesn’t like giving away cool dog toys and prizes????), I just haven’t been able to keep up with the local fundraising events, happy hours, and dog friendly businesses. And those things are the most important parts of the site.

    dashsquirrelConstantly updating dog friendly events and staying on top of which new local businesses are catering to dogs is massively time consuming. Making sure everything is shared on ThePhillyDog social media channels also takes up a ton of time. As does monthly newsletters, which have completely fallen by the wayside.

    Therefore, I’ve decide to take in a new direction – to become more community driven and a collaborative site with the local dog owning community to help support dog friendly Philly and the rescues that save lives. I’m currently researching new website layouts and various plug-ins that will let readers enter their event and business information on their own, and for free. I’m also looking into features that will allow readers to connect with one another and rate various local businesses.

    I initially started this site because of my dog Dash and because I wanted everyone to see just how dog friendly Philly is – and to eventually get Philadelphia listed on a top ten list of dog-friendly businesses. Please join me in trying to get Philly to the top!

    If you or your organization are interested in helping out with the re-design and relaunch of, or if you are just interested in receiving information about new collaborative and event sharing options, please email me at

    Dog Shot in Roxborough Park

    This past week, an 11 month old German Shepherd puppy named Porter (pictured below) was shot to death during a game of fetch. According to the Philadelphia Police Officer Christine O’Brien, who handles press requests for the Philadelphia Police Department:

    Dog Shot in Roxborough Kelly’s Park

    On Monday, August 31, 2015, at approximately 6:30 AM, officers responded to a report of an animal incident at 6800 Mitchell Street. Upon their arrival at the listed location, officers met the complainant (26 year old male) who stated that an unknown male (50 year old male) shot his dog. Officers observed a German Shepherd that appeared to be deceased lying on the ground. The unknown male stated that he was in fear for his life when he fired one shot at the dog.

    The officers transported all parties involved to Northwest Detective Division to be interviewed. The unknown male has a valid permit to carry and the gun is registered to him. According to all parties involved and a witness, the dog was off the leash in the park at Mitchell and Parker Streets when the shooting occurred. The unknown male was released with no charges. PACCA was notified.


    Porter, an 11 month German Shepherd puppy

    There are always two sides to every story. The dog owners indicated that they were playing their morning game of Fetch in Kelly Park. It was the routine. It was 6 am and no one was in the park at that time.  Until a man and a female came walking by. Porter ran over to them and got within 20 feet before he was shot.

    It didn’t take long for this to hit social media and the community to become outraged. A Facebook page was created, fundraisers for a memorial bench began, community meetings have been scheduled. How could this have happened? Why did it happen?

    In a heated exchange over who is right and who is wrong, dog owners and gun owners (many of whom are also dog owners) argued with emotions running high. The dog was off leash. The dog ran over to the shooter and growled. The dog lunged. The dog didn’t lunge. The shooter went crazy and threatened the dog owner. Guns aren’t allowed in city parks. Dogs aren’t allowed in that particular park (see photo below). The shooter must be a dog hater.

    No Dogs Allowed?

    I admit I’ve let Dash off leash in Washington Square Park (and narrowly avoided a fine). I’ve let Dash off-leash at Valley Forge park. At Wissahickon. I see all kinds of dogs running around off leash there all the time. And, growing up, we let our Doberman off-leash in Elmwood Park in Norristown and Valley Forge Park, too. What did I fear most with taking the risk? My dog would get hit by a car. Not shot.

    Dogs are required to be on leash in Philadelphia.

    I know that I am violating the law. Why do I do it? I’m not really sure. I know I shouldn’t be.

    Should Porter have been on a leash? Yes. But he wasn’t. And dogs are off leash all the time in this city. Should they kelly_park_roxboroughbe? No. But they are. People play fetch with their dogs in city parks all the time. This was early in the morning, the park was empty. It was just the Porter’s daily ritual.

    And, even though the sign at Kelly Park says “No Dogs Allowed,” dogs were also there all the time.

    But guns aren’t legal in Philadelphia parks, with a few exceptions.  (I reached out to PPD for comment on whether one of those exceptions is if you have a legal permit to carry. I have not yet received a response).

    Did the guy have the right to shoot? I don’t know. I guess, legally he did – if he felt in fear of his life. Was that fear reasonable? Not to me, but I wasn’t there. I wasn’t in his shoes. If a large dog came running at me, yes I would be scared. I would probably scream and cover my head. I’d probably wait for the owner to come and get their dog under control. I wouldn’t shoot.

    And I think that’s what the community is struggling with – did he really have to to shoot Porter to avoid getting potentially hurt? Couldn’t he have yelled at the owner? Did he need to resort to deadly force so quickly? Is a “lunge” sufficient justification for discharging a weapon in public? Is a dog lunging at you from 20 feet away close enough to justify killing it?

    Or is a person required to wait until they actually get bit before protecting themselves?

    I don’t know. If Porter were my dog, I’d say it was an extreme response that was unjustified. If it were my dog, I’d do anything to be able to turn back time and have had my dog on a leash. I’d be asking why the shooter wasn’t arrested for carrying a weapon in a city park.

    At the end of the day, what happened is just a tragedy. And it could have happened to any of our dogs. It’s easy to blame the owner for not playing fetch in a dog park or for not having Porter leashed.

    That doesn’t necessarily make it okay for a dog to be shot and killed.

    What do you think?

    Nextdoor Network – Top Philly Pet Names

    How fun is this? Free social network for neighborhoods Nextdoor created this infographic on the top pet names across the country (after all, pets are neighbors, too).  The graphic below was based on 2015 aggregate, anonymous data taken from Nextdoor members who included pet information in their profile settings across more than 56,000 Nextdoor neighborhoods.



    Nextdoor was happy to tell the top ranking pets names in Philadelphia (drumroll please):

    1. Bella
    2. Bailey
    3. Max
    4. Molly
    5. Lucy
    6. Daisy
    7. Maggie
    8. Charlie
    9. Chloe
    10. Buddy

    No Dash? Harumpf.

    Radisson Blu Warwick Becomes Pet Friendly!

    Philly has another pet-friendly hotel! In celebration of National Pet Day last week, Radisson Blu Warwick Hotel launched their new pet-friendly rooms with Marnie the Dog on hand (er, paw) to welcome the hotel’s first pet guests and help support local charity City of Elderly Love!

    marnie the dog with city of elderly love

    Originally opened in 1926, the 301-room historic hotel located in Rittenhouse Square has completed a $20 million renovation, including new pet-friendly rooms. The new pet-friendly rooms include food and water bowls with placemats, pet beds, bones upon request. There’s even a room service menu with Doggie Meatloaf and Pampered Pooch Rice and Lamb Casserole. But they don’t just stop there – visitors will even have maps highlighting dog-friendly parks, walking trails, nearby pet stores and more.

    “Philadelphia is a very pet-friendly city,” said Jean Marc Jalbert, General Manager at the Radisson Blu Warwick Hotel, Philadelphia. “With National Pet Day right around the corner, we wanted to let our guests know that we are just as accommodating to pets as we are to their owners. We’re honored to have Marnie check in and greet our first four-legged guests.”

    Here’s our favorite part, though – for every PETS LOVING PETS Package reservation, a $10 donation will be made to local nonprofit the City of Elderly Love, an animal rescue group dedicated to saving and enriching the lives of adoptable senior pets in the Philadelphia area. The PETS LOVING PETS Package includes your overnight stay in a new pet-friendly room, $10 credit for the dog room service menu and a credit for a local pet boutique! Please note that there is a 50 lb. weight limit and charges may apply for additional pets.

    With summer on the way, your family and friends now have no excuse not to come visit – and with the donation to a Philly charity you have no reason not to direct them to the Raddison Blu Warwick Hotel. For more information or to make reservations at the Raddison Blu Warwick Hotel in Philadelphia, check out their site at or call (215) 735-6000. Don’t forget to tell them sent you!

    All photos courtesy of Raddison Blu Warwick Hotel.


    Councilman Kenyatta Johnson: Bring Your Dog Inside

    Now that spring is in the air, it’s easy to forget what a harsh and horrible winter we just had.  But with the summer season just on the horizon, excessive heat warnings are sure to pop up.  Whether a brutal winter or a scorching summer, forcing a dog to stay outside on a chain is inhumane.  Indeed, many of us in the Philadelphia area saw countless alerts on Facebook about dogs suffering on chains in sub-zero temperatures.  Some were fortunate enough to have an angel call the police or physically go and remove the dog from these horrible conditions.

    Kenyatta Johnson with Dog Sasha BluAn ordinance that makes it illegal to chain a dog outside in inclement weather or blistering heat is long overdue.  That’s where Councilman Kenyatta Johnson (pictured with his Cane Corso, Sasha Blu) and Bill No. 140080 comes in, which states, in pertinent part:

    SECTION 1. Title 10 of The Philadelphia Code is hereby amended to read as follows:


    * * *

    CHAPTER 10-100. ANIMALS.

    * * *

    § 10-114. Animal Care – Requirements for Animal Owners and Kennels.

    * * *

    (3) In addition to the requirements of subsections (1) and (2), any person who
    owns or has possession, custody or control of a dog or cat shall not allow the animal to remain outdoors (except for brief walks and exercise) whenever the outside temperature falls below 32 degrees Fahrenheit or rises above 85 degrees Fahrenheit or whenever inclement weather conditions, including but not limited to rain, sleet, ice, snow or wind are likely to threaten the health or safety of the animal.


    On May 8th, 2014 at 3:00 pm in Room 400 of City Hall, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson will be proposing Bill No. 140080 which will prohibit anyone from from leaving their dogs outside for long periods of time in extreme weather.  While there are sure to be a few amendments tighten up the language, the general intent will remain – to provide the proper care and protection for our animals.
    But Councilman Johnson needs our support.  Remember all of the dogs you read about on Facebook over the winter who were living outside during the massive snow storm? Or perhaps you’ve called the police yourself to report a dog who has been outside for days on end in frigid temperatures or during an oppressive heat wave.  It’s hard to believe that anyone who has a pet would be so cruel, but as  we all know this is a pervasive problem in our city.

    So it’s time to step up.  What are you doing on May 8th at 4 pm? Show your support of this bill and help Councilman Johnson get this Bill the attention it so desperately deserves.  Posting pictures of suffering animals on Facebook and complaining about our justice system doesn’t help protect our animals.  Physically showing up and making sure that our animals have a voice does.  It’s time we start advocating for our animals.  They deserve to live a life that is free of cruelty.

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