Here's how to keep your pets safe during a hurricane

Published: Friday, August 25, 2017 @ 4:23 PM
Updated: Friday, August 25, 2017 @ 4:23 PM

(OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
(OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)(OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

Hurricane season begins every year on June 1. Here are some simple tips to keep your pets safe if you are in the path of a storm.

Prepare ahead for safety and comfort of your pet

Do not leave pets at home, especially if you live in an evacuation area. Even if they survive the storm, they might flee a damaged home and be lost in the chaos.

It might be difficult, if not impossible, to find shelter for your animals in the midst of a disaster, so plan ahead. Here are some options:

Hotels: Contact hotels and motels outside your area in advance to check policies on accepting pets and restrictions on number, size and species. Ask whether “no pet” policies could be waived. Keep a list of “pet-friendly” places, including phone numbers, with other disaster information. For an impending storm, call ahead for reservations. The Humane Society of the United States recommends the following websites to find pet-friendly lodgings.

Friends and relatives: Ask friends, relatives or others outside the area if they can shelter your animals. Make arrangements with neighbors to help evacuate pets in the event you can’t get home.

Pet-friendly shelters: Find out if pets will be permitted at an evacuation shelter.

If you haven’t already done so, get those shots now. Infectious diseases can become a big threat after a disaster.

If a pet becomes lost or escapes during the confusion of an evacuation, proper identification will increase the chances of a safe return home. Tag should include your cell number and, if space allows, the number of an out-of-town contact. Consider having your pet tattooed or having an ID microchip implanted.

You will need a pet carrier or cage for each dog, cat, bird or small animal. Make sure it is large enough for each pet to stand up and turn around comfortably.

Take clear, color photos (frontal, left and right sides) of you with your pet, and store these with your pet’s license, medical records and ownership papers in a waterproof carrier to take with you. Include pictures of the pet with you to help with any challenge to your ownership. Take photos with your cellphone so they’re stored there as well.

Set up a pet disaster kit

Put together a pet disaster kit with medications and medical records in a waterproof container, a leash and collar or harness for each pet, non-spill food and water dishes, a 14-day supply of food, water in non-breakable containers, a manual can opener, grooming supplies, your pet’s blanket and a favorite toy, cleanser and disinfectant to handle waste, newspapers or litter, paper towels and plastic bags.

Tips to Keep Your Dog Calm During a Storm

Donald Trump: Only modern president without pets in the White House

Published: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 10:45 PM

WASHINGTON - MARCH 15:  U.S. President Barack Obama greets his dog Bo outside the Oval Office of the White House March 15, 2012 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Martin H. Simon-Pool/Getty Images)
Pool/Getty Images
WASHINGTON - MARCH 15: U.S. President Barack Obama greets his dog Bo outside the Oval Office of the White House March 15, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Martin H. Simon-Pool/Getty Images)(Pool/Getty Images)

The Trump White House is likely to become known for many things, but cute and cuddly is apparently not one of them. Breaking from tradition, the First Family has not welcomed pets into their lair.

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"There are no plans at this time" to add animals to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Communications Director Stephanie Grisham told CNN. That would make the Trumps "the only first family in modern presidential history without a pet," CNN says.

Ivanka Trump wrote about her ex-husband's ambivalence toward her poodle, Chappy, in her memoir, Raising Trump. Chappy "had an equal dislike of Donald," she was also quoted as saying.

In recent times, dogs have been the most common furry friend at the White House. Who doesn't remember the Portuguese water dogs, Bo and Sunny, who frolicked with the Obamas, or the many mutts of the Bush presidents. George W. Bush's dog, Spot, was born at the White House, the offspring of Millie, during George H.W. Bush's administration. George W. and Laura also had terriers, Miss Beazley and Barney, famous for his "Barney Cam" videos.

But the history of First Family pets is also full of unusual sidekicks, from James Buchanan's elephants to Martin Van Buren's tiger cubs, according to CNN. Though unconfirmed, legend has it that John Quincy Adams had an alligator.

Many of these more unusual animals were gifts. First families with young children often went more traditional, taking full advantage of the benefits of living at America's most famous residence.

The Kennedy White House included a pony, horses, hamsters, dogs, parakeets, a canary, a rabbit and a cat. Pets "help create an atmosphere of the White House as a family, a lived-in place and not just a stiff museum, but a place where a family lives and plays and enjoys each other's company," the chief historian at the White House Historical Association, Ed Lengel, told CNN.

But it's not like the Trump administration is bereft of pet-lovers. Vice President Mike Pence and Karen Pence keep a menagerie at their nearby home at the U.S. Naval Observatory.

Their rabbit, Marlon Bundo, is a social media star with his own Instagram account. One of their longtime cats, Oreo, recently passed away but they've since added a new kitten, Hazel, who joins another feline, Pickles. The family's beloved 13-year-old beagle, Maverick, died days before the election. But an Australian shepherd puppy, Harley, has happily joined the family. 
More famous First Family pets 
• Thomas Jefferson: A mockingbird and several bear cubs.
• Woodrow Wilson: A flock of sheep and a ram, who grazed the White House lawn.
• William Taft: A Holstein cow named Pauline.
• Warren Harding: Laddie Boy, an Airedale terrier who had his own chair in the Roosevelt Room for Cabinet meetings.
• Calvin Coolidge: First Lady Grace Coolidge had an opossum and a raccoon, which she walked on a leash.
• Theodore Roosevelt: Nearly 30 pets, including his bulldog, Pete, famous for tearing the pants off the French ambassador.
• Richard Nixon: Checkers the cocker spaniel.
• Jimmy Carter: Daughter Amy had a Siamese cat named Misty Malarky Ying Yang. 
• Ronald Reagan: Rex, a King Charles spaniel.
• Bill Clinton: Socks the cat.

Vegetables sold at Walmart, Trader Joe's recalled for Listeria

Published: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 9:43 PM

Mann Packing recalled various vegetable products over Listeria concerns. (Photo: Food and Drug Administration)
Mann Packing recalled various vegetable products over Listeria concerns. (Photo: Food and Drug Administration)

Mann Packing is voluntarily recalling various vegetable products sold at Walmart, Trader Joe's and Target over concerns of Listeria monocytogenes, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

The company said “a single positive” test result in random sampling by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency sparked the decision to issue the recall notice. Listeria infection can cause fever, diarrhea, flu-like symptoms and even miscarriages.

"As an owner of this company and a mom, providing safe and healthy foods to our consumers and their families is always our top priority," Gina Nucci, director of corporate marketing, said in a release.

The recall includes Brussels sprouts, broccoli and vegetable medley products distributed throughout the United States and Canada with “best if used by” dates from Oct. 11 to 20.

Affected items include:

  • Walmart 12-oz. bags of broccoli cauliflower florets, broccoli florets and stir fry medley, 32-oz. bags of broccoli florets, 16-oz. bags of broccoli slaw, 10-ounce bags of cauliflower florets and super blend, 6/16-oz. bags of cauliflower and 2-lb. bags of vegetable medley.

  • Trader Joe's, 10-ounce bags of kohlrabi salad blend.

  • Archer Farms 12-oz. bags of broccoli slaw, broccoli cauliflower florets, broccoli medley and brussels sprouts, 9-oz. bags of shaved brussels sprouts and 10-oz. bags of cauliflower florets.

Aldi supermarkets also issued recall notices for Mann products.

Conjoined twins thriving after surgery to separate them

Published: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 8:33 PM

Conjoined twins were separated and are thriving. (Photo: WSOCTV.com)
Conjoined twins were separated and are thriving. (Photo: WSOCTV.com)

Conjoined twins from Mooresville are thriving nearly five months after a long surgery to separate them.

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Erin and Abby DeLaney, 15-month-old girls, were attached at the top of their heads.

Their surgery, which was on June 6, took 11 hours, but it was a success. They were recently discharged from the hospital.

The family said it is grateful to the team at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Priscilla Presley parts ways with Church of Scientology, reports say

Published: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 8:06 PM

File photo.  (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Dream Foundation)
Jesse Grant
File photo. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Dream Foundation)(Jesse Grant)

Priscilla Presley has quit the Church of Scientology, 40 years after she joined, according to the Daily Mail.

“I’ve had enough. I’m done,” Presley reportedly said.

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Presley — who initially joined the church after the death of her husband, Elvis — allegedly told friends she was leaving.

The church’s membership includes a long list of Hollywood celebrities, including John Travolta and Tom Cruise.

“Priscilla reached out to John Travolta after Elvis died in 1977, and that’s how she ended up in the church,” the source said. “She has been in it ever since, and she raised her daughter, Lisa Marie, in it.”

Lisa Marie Presley left the church in 2014, which apparently made remaining with the church a difficult task for her mother.

“They are very close as a family, and leaving the church has been a family decision,” the source claims.

In recent years, several celebs have ditched the church, including Katie Holmes and Nicole Kidman, who are both ex-wives of Tom Cruise, still a member himself. The testimonies and interviews of former member Leah Remini; one of the stars of the popular sitcom, “King of Queens,” appear to be impacting the church.