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Petco to Shut Down Drs. Foster and Smith, Eliminating 289 Jobs

The closure takes effect Feb. 12.

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Petco is shutting down its Drs. Foster and Smith business, a catalog and online retailer of pet supplies.

The closure, taking effect Feb. 12, means the loss of 289 jobs in Rhinelander, WI, the Star Journal reports.

Petco will maintain its Live Aquaria business, which has 59 employees, in Rhinelander.

Employees of Drs. Foster and Smith will see their employment end in 60 to 120 days, the company said.

The Star Journal quoted a company statement: “Taking into account the needs of modern pet parents, shifting consumer preferences and the ongoing evolution of the Petco brand, we believe this will enable us to streamline operations and better focus on our core business and customer.”

The company continued: “This decision has not been an easy one, nor has it been made lightly, and we appreciate that it has a very real effect on both individuals and the broader community in Rhinelander.”

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Petco purchased the Drs. Foster and Smith business in 2015.

Read more at the the Star Journal

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Pet Insurance Firm Says Anti-Vaccination Movement Poses Threat to Animals

The beliefs ‘are spilling over into pet parenting.’

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The anti-vaccination movement has spread to pets, and that could be dangerous, according to Healthy Paws Pet Insurance.

Rob Jackson, CEO of Healthy Paws, told People.com that his company has noticed a decline in dogs getting their “core” vaccinations. That includes vaccines against rabies vaccine, parvovirus, distemper and adenovirus-2.

“Anti-vaccination sentiments are spilling over into pet parenting,” he said.

A blog post on the company’s website states:

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Much like the human anti-vaccination movement, pet parents’ reasons run the gamut, but at the core they all lead back to a belief that vaccinations can be harmful to pets. Some are concerned that vaccines trigger immune disorders and life-threatening side effects, while others think pets can gain immunity much like humans can – through exposure.

The company also noted: “Our pets rely on us to take care and protect them, and vaccinations are one way we can fulfill this promise.”

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Internet Sensation Grumpy Cat Dies At Age 7

She was one of social media’s first pet influencers.

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Grumpy Cat, an internet sensation and pioneer of the pets-as-influencers trend, has died at age 7, CNN reports.

Her owner, Tabatha Bundesen of Morristown, AZ, wrote on Twitter:

Despite care from top professionals, as well as from her very loving family, Grumpy encountered complications from a recent urinary tract infection that unfortunately became too tough for her to overcome. She passed away peacefully on the morning of Tuesday, May 14, at home in the arms of her mommy, Tabatha.

The cat, whose real name was Tardar Sauce, rose to prominence on Reddit in 2012. At the time of her death, Grumpy Cat had 8.5 million fans on Facebook, 2.4 million followers on Instagram and 1.5 million followers on Twitter.

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CNN notes that she also “inspired art projects, perfumes, merchandise, Skechers shoes, comics and even a ‘Grumppuccino’ coffee.”

Grumpy Cat had feline dwarfism, and her owners said that’s likely what caused her distinctive appearance.

Read more at CNN

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Dog Pee Might Be Bad News for Cities — Here’s Why

A study suggests it harms ‘green infrastructure.’

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Dog urine may be undermining cities’ efforts to keep sewer systems from overflowing, a new study suggests.

Cities’ “green infrastructure,” such as street trees, helps to absorb rainwater, Popular Science notes. But these areas also happen to attracts lots of dogs that need to do their business.

And the urine might be making soil in those areas less absorbent because of its low pH and its nitrogen content, according to a study by Columbia University undergraduate and graduate researchers. It also may be causing the soil microbiome to become less diverse.

In areas such as sidewalk tree pits, ““the soils seemed barren, compacted, and the water from rainfall didn’t seem to penetrate very well,” ecologist Krista McGuire, who led the research, said of her reason for starting the project.

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The researchers explained in their paper:

“Our study investigated the effects of canine urine on the urban soil microbial communities in a greenhouse experiment by treating Liriope muscari, a common plant found in New York City green infrastructure, with different concentrations of canine urine for 4 weeks in an experimental setting. We found that urine application significantly decreased total soil microbial biomass and microbial richness, and increased water runoff volume.”

Read more at Popular Science

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