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Checking Pets by Camera Is a Fun Obsession for More Americans

Comcast released a survey and announced a new product feature.

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PHILADELPHIA — Americans are becoming increasingly obsessed with watching their pets on security cameras while away from home, according to new survey results.

The research, commissioned by Comcast and conducted by Wakefield Research, included 1,000 U.S. adults who are cat and/or dog owners and use a camera to monitor their pets.

Nearly half (44%) of those surveyed check in on their pets four times a day or more, and nearly 2 in 5 (38%) take a peek during work.

Additionally, 94% say checking in on their pet is one of the best parts of their day.

The survey also found:

  • Pet owners love furry distractions. Nearly 3 in 4 (73%) pet owners who check their cameras do so while on vacation to sneak a peek of their pet(s) whenever possible. Nearly 3 in 5 (59%) have checked while at a party or social event; more than 2 in 5 (44%) have checked during a workout; during a meeting (38%); while talking on the phone (38%); and while out on a date (32%).
  • Pets are more entertaining than family and friends. More than two-thirds (68%) of respondents reported checking in on their pet(s) more than social media to see what their family and friends are up to. More than 4 in 5 surveyed (84%) also reported they have shared video clips of their pet(s) on social media platforms.
  • Pets’ lives are not so secret. Eighty-eight percent of respondents have checked in on their pets and caught them doing something naughty such as sitting in a forbidden place (39%); making excessive noise (36%); eating human food that has been left out (33%); damaging furniture or accessories (30%); hiding or moving objects around the home (30%); relieving him/herself on the floor or on the furniture (26%); vomiting (19%); or getting stuck somewhere (17%).
  • Pet owners want ways to find videos of their pets quickly. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of respondents reported it is a bigger hassle to search hours of video clips of their pet(s) with no way to filter them, than to not have any clips of pets because their camera only has live feed, and they would like a filter feature to help them find clips faster.

Comcast announced that it has launched a new “pet filter” feature on its Xfinity Camera to make it easier for customers to keep tabs on their pets. The filter uses artificial intelligence to sort through hours of footage to identify just those with pets in them out of the more than one hundred motion-triggered video clips a typical camera can generate each day.

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“We developed this feature to help our customers quickly filter motion-triggered events by people, vehicles, or pets because we wanted to bring them the video clips that matter most even faster,” said Dennis Mathew, vice president and general manager of Comcast’s Xfinity Home. “It’s an intelligent home security solution that enables our customers to easily check in on their loved ones from anywhere, anytime.”

Since launching in 2017, PETS+ has won 14 major international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact PETS+'s editors at editor@petsplusmag.com.

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78 Animals Rescued From Fire at Pet Resort

Some pets were treated for smoke inhalation.

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Firefighters rescued 78 animals from a fire at Pet Paradise, a pet resort in Charlottesville, Va., on Sunday.

Dogs and cats were taken to local veterinary clinics in the area to be treated for smoke inhalation, CBS 19 News reported. (Watch a CBS 19 News video about the fire below.)

The Daily Progress reported that about 10 animals were in critical condition. Some animals were being taken to the Greenbrier Emergency Animal Hospital, and some were going to shelters and foster homes.

In a message on its website Monday morning, Pet Paradise Charlottesville stated:

Our management team continues to be focused on ensuring the safety of all the pets at Pet Paradise Charlottesville after this emergency. As of this morning, we have contacted all the owners and notified them of their pets locations. The pets previously reported in critical condition are now in stable condition and being cared for by local veterinary hospitals. We currently have 2 cats and 1 dog that escaped during the emergency last night. Our team members spent the night searching for these pets and our number one priority is locating them and safely returning them to our owners. Our efforts today will be focused on locating these pets.

Firefighters were called to the blaze at about 6:25 p.m. and had extinguished it by 8 p.m. One firefighter was taken to the hospital after suffering heat-related injuries, according to CBS 19.

It’s still unknown what caused the fire.

Watch a news video about the fire:

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$20M Pet Nutrition Facility to Focus on Needs of Small Dogs

It will be home to 80 small dogs under 12 pounds.

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TOPEKA, KS — Hill’s Pet Nutrition held a groundbreaking ceremony for a $20 million, 25,000-square-foot nutrition facility focused on the needs of small dogs, along with a center developed for veterinarian and other pet caregiver engagement.

“Hill’s is excited to announce the expansion of our world-renowned pet nutrition center to focus on the special needs of small dogs and also to enhance our involvement with those who care for pets through the new engagement center,” said Hill’s President Jesper Nordengaard. “We are always investing in research and development to serve the nutritional needs of pets as well as learning from veterinarians, customers and caregivers through their experiences.”

The new Small Paws center will be home to 80 small dogs under 12 pounds who will benefit from nutrition developed to their unique needs. The center will be devoted to exceptional veterinary care and offer indoor and outdoor enrichment activities that the dogs can choose during the day, including an outdoor Bark Park. The engagement center will have dedicated space to host educational seminars and continuing education programs for veterinary students and professionals.

“All around the world, there’s a steady increase in the popularity of small dogs. Our investment in this specialized facility will help us develop food with the taste and aesthetics that small dogs prefer and that works best with their distinctive behaviors and unique physiology,” said Dave Baloga, vice president, science and technology, for Hill’s. “The Small Paws center will allow us to better understand their needs and discover new ways to help them lead happy, healthy lives.”

Today, more than half of dogs in the U.S. are small and miniature, and the percentage is growing, notes Hill’s, which is part of Colgate-Palmolive Co. These small dogs have distinct needs compared to their larger cousins. For example, small stomachs mean they graze throughout the day, rather than eat one or two big meals like larger dogs. And because of their higher mass-specific metabolism, pound for pound, small dogs eat more than big dogs.

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State Makes It a Crime to Have a Fake Service Animal

Violators face fines and community service.

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Alabama is instituting criminal penalties for anyone who misrepresents a pet as a service animal.

The legislation takes effect Sept. 1. It makes such representation a Class C misdemeanor that leads to a $100 fine and 100 hours of community service, Al.com reports.

Under Alabama law, only dogs and miniature horses can qualify as service animals. They have to be trained specifically to help people with disabilities — emotional support animals do not count.

The law allows for signs to be posted in public places with this wording: “Service animals are welcome. It is illegal for a person to misrepresent an animal in that person’s possession as a service animal.”

According to Al.com, Alabama is one of 25 states with laws related to misrepresentation of service animals.

Read more at Al.com

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