At the Sacramento SPCA, we meet a lot of new faces that deserve second chances. Pixie, an 8-year-old Australian cattle dog mix, is one of those faces.

A group of young patients at UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center is part of a nationwide study that examines the effects of animal-assisted therapy on patients, their families and therapy dogs.

Jealousy is such a powerful emotion that at least one study has characterized it as the third leading cause of non-accidental homicide in all cultures. Is it possible that this universal green-eyed monster evolved as a survival mechanism?

You want to get something done in Congress, bring a dog.

In January, a sporting-dog rescue group asked Lori-Lynn Clayton of San Angelo, Texas, to go look at a dog in her local shelter thought to be an English springer spaniel or Brittany. He was a springer, emaciated and near death. She struggled to get him released, battling shelter workers and then veterinarians who said it would be better to euthanize him.

Marzipan, the Sacramento Zoo’s sweet-faced ostrich, had to be euthanized Monday when her severely fractured leg could not be repaired.

If the Sacramento Wildlife Care Association’s worst fears come it pass, it will shut down in August. The group raises the possibility that the 1,000 birds it cares for at McClellan Park may have to be euthanized.

Insurance for dogs, cats, even hedgehogs, falls into the category of property insurance, and providers have leeway to place coverage limits and can carve out exclusions for preexisting conditions or hereditary diseases. With complaints to the Department of Insurance on the rise, Assemblyman Matt Dababneh, D-Sherman Oaks, is reviving an effort vetoed by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to set guidelines for the largely unregulated industry.

When my dog Harper was a puppy, she wanted up in my lap one day. The problem was, my lap was already occupied by Twyla, our black-and-tan cavalier. Harper knew that Twyla would “give her what for” if she dared to jump up there, too. Harper paced back and forth, watching us. You could practically see the wheels spinning in her head.

Meet Tickles! She’s a sweet, senior dog looking for a home to spend her golden years.

Hope couldn’t make it past the front doors of Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento without causing a commotion.

Princess is an excited, playful girl who is looking for an active home. This Labrador retriever mix is about 5 years old and is known for her energy. That’s pretty typical in Labradors until they get a bit older.

Every Fourth of July animal shelters are inundated with dogs and cats that bolt their homes to flee the boom and flash of fireworks.

For much of the last two years, Gemily West has been largely silent about what she has endured as the sole survivor of a hit-and-run crash that killed her boyfriend and four dogs. Now that the driver is on his way to prison, she felt ready to tell her story.

Some people play golf on the weekends or go wine tasting. I have a buddy who fixes up old Studebakers. Carrie Holler? Her hobby is taking care of a gang of feral cats that lives in some bushes near the Sacramento River.

Hedgehogs are crazy cute. That’s probably the main reason people get them as pets. And they are unique.

A big boy (75 pounds) and excited to get to know you, Charlie is available for adoption at the Sacramento SPCA.

Sacramento homeowners struggling to stuff all their yard waste into the city’s green bins now have a new place to send it: the Sacramento Zoo.

The young mountain lion caught in Sacramento’s Oak Park neighborhood late Saturday likely was looking to stake out new territory for itself, experts said. While this is normal behavior, it does not mean such incidents will become more common.

At the Front Street Animal Shelter, one building is much quieter than usual. It houses more than 40 of the loudest dogs – breeds such as boxers and bulldogs. Yet their barks are muffled and less piercing than the sound that reverberates down a separate run just next door, where fewer dogs are housed.

The public is invited Saturday to the fifth annual “Canine Pentathlon,” a fund-raising event for A New Leash on Life, a charity that comforts dog lovers who are coping with cancer.

Meet Bullet! He’s a big boy with a big heart – an 8-year-old male longhair mix with beautiful markings. One of his favorite activities is cuddling. He weighs 19 pounds, so while he could stand to lose a few pounds, he is one gentle giant.

Members of the Sequoia Valley 4-H Club Sacramento County chapter on Thursday donated 102 blankets to the Front Street Animal Shelter as part of a service learning project about the needs of homeless pets.

Several hundred brown and white goats, including a few spindly-legged kids, grazed lazily on a grassy hillside one day last week. It was a pastoral scene, but for the 250-foot pile of garbage 18 inches beneath the goats’ hooves.

A Lincoln woman escaped a fire in her home this morning after she was alerted by her dog.

Meet Sierra. She’s got the energy of a lifelong friend with the maturity of a great companion. And she’s looking for a home. Sierra is 10 years old, so you might think she’s too old to keep up with you. Not true. Her Jack Russell terrier breed is known for its energetic tendencies, but her age balances her out nicely.

Visiting a national park is a popular pastime, especially during summer. We decided to beat the crowds last month by visiting Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks before the vacationing hordes overtook them. Two of our dogs stayed home with a pet sitter, but Harper – our most experienced traveler– came along for the ride.

Yolo County Animal Services authorities ask the public’s help in finding a dog that bit a woman in Woodland last weekend.

Harison Long-Randall, 21, pushed his girlfriend safely out of the way of the speeding car that mowed him down that July night, severing his leg and causing injuries that led to his death 13 days later. Behind the wheel of the 1987 Nissan Maxima was Paul William Walden, now 33, who prosecutors say had either just shot up heroin or was on a desperate, reckless search for a fix. He was sentenced to 25 years to life on Friday.

Lad, a collie from Kentucky who suffered a gunshot wound to the face, died Tuesday at UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital after suffering post-operative complications following reconstructive jaw surgery.

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