Animals

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Photo courtesy of Kent Animal Shelter

MEET ZAP! Zap is a 1-year-old terrier mix who recently came from the Bahamas where dogs (known as potcakes) don’t have a very good life. That’s all behind him now, and he’s ready to settle in with a forever family! A smart, well-behaved guy, he walks nicely on a leash and sits on command for treats. You’re sure to love him! Zap comes neutered, microchipped and up to date on all his vaccines. Kent Animal Shelter is located at 2259 River Road in Calverton. For more information on Zap and other adoptable pets at Kent, please call 631-727-5731 or visit www.kentanimalshelter.com.

Reviewed by Melissa Arnold

Grant Shaffer and Alan Cumming with their current pets, Jerry and Lala. Photo from Jud Newborn

Have you ever wondered what your pets are thinking, or what they’re up to when you’re not around? Actor Alan Cumming and his photographer/illustrator husband, Grant Shaffer, sure have. Constantly entertained by their late beloved dogs, Honey and Leon, the couple decided to share the fun in their new children’s book, “The Adventures of Honey & Leon,” beautifully illustrated with a silly, imaginative story line. Cumming and Shaffer, who have been together for 13 years, recently answered questions about the book via email.

Tell us a little bit about yourselves. Were you always animal lovers?

Alan Cumming: I always had animals around me growing up. I had two little West Highland Terrier dogs when I was a little boy, but as I lived on a country estate there were always sheep and cows and deer and pheasants around.

Grant Shaffer: I’ve always been an animal lover. I grew up with dogs, cats, a rabbit, lizards, snakes, hamsters, fish … I even had a pet rat that I was crazy about.

Is this your first foray into writing/illustrating?

AC: I’ve also written “Tommy’s Tale,” a novel published in 2002; “Not My Father’s Son,” a No. 1 New York Times best-selling memoir; and a book of photographs and stories titled “You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams.” GS: I illustrated a children’s book last year called “Three Magic Balloons,” written by Julianna and Paul Margulies.

How did you come up with the story line?

GS: The idea came up when we’d be traveling and missing our dogs. We would spot people at the airport, on the street or at a beach and say, “There’s Honey” (old lady in a bathrobe and a floppy sun hat), or “There’s Leon” (short little guy wearing big sunglasses and a flat cap), and the story just grew from there. The problem with dogs is that they don’t stick around forever. I think this was our way of trying to immortalize them, and we thought kids would like this tale.

AC: It seemed such a good collaboration considering our respective jobs. I love the idea that we have created something together that celebrates the creatures we loved so much.

What was the process like?

GS: Alan wrote the story first, and then I added the drawings. We mulled the idea of doing a children’s book for years, so it took a long time. It was great, and pretty fluid. I’ve heard of some couples who are barely speaking to each other after a joint project like this, but luckily that’s not us!

How did you come to adopt Honey and Leon?

GS: Before we met, Alan had adopted Honey, and I had adopted Leon, so when we got together, so did they. They were pure love and magic to us, but all dog owners think that about their dogs. Leon would sing (howl) along to Radiohead or if a siren went by, and Honey always crossed her paws like a lady, and she’d actually pose for a camera, looking left, then right.

Did you often wonder what the dogs were thinking at home?

GS: All the time. It usually involved food and dog treats I think. One time we rang up a pet psychic, so she could tell us what the dogs were thinking. She was so off, saying that Leon didn’t like my phone’s ringtone (I never used a ringtone) and that Honey wanted Alan to eat more vegetables (as a vegan, that’s all he eats). It was worth a funny phone call though.

Can you share with the readers a favorite story about Honey and Leon?

GS: We used to play a game: If I walked the dogs, Alan would hide somewhere in the house. Alan’s hiding places became more involved, and the chase would become more frantic each time. I would guide them with “hot” and “cold,” and Alan would clue them in with a whistle. When they’d finally find him, it was like a family reuniting that had been separated for decades — lots of whining and licks!

Do you two hope to adopt pets again someday?

GS: We already did! When Honey died (from old age), Leon was so lonely, so we adopted a Chihuahua mix named Jerry. Then Leon died (from old age) and we adopted Lala (a mini-collie mix, but she looks like a black fox). We are in love all over again.

Is there a particular message you hope to pass on to kids with this book?

GS: I like that the story features two gay dads, but that isn’t the story really. It’s just, “Here is our family on a fun adventure together.” I guess that’s a message in itself.

Who is your target audience?

AC: We recommend the book for kids ages 3 to 7.

Are there any other books we can look forward to from you?

GS: “The Further Adventures of Honey & Leon” comes out in 2019. “The Adventures of Honey & Leon” is available online and in stores wherever books are sold.

Cumming and Shaffer will make a special appearance at the Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington on Sept. 18 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $75, $60 members. The event, hosted by Jud Newborn, includes a rare screening of Cumming’s “The Anniversary Party,” followed by a Q&A and book-signing reception for “The Adventures of Honey & Leon.” Every ticket holder will receive a copy of the book. Call 631-423-7611 for more information.

A dog is rescued from flood waters of Hurrican Harvey in Texas. Photo from Mark Freeley's GoFundMe

After internet sensation Storm, an English golden retriever, saved a drowning fawn from Port Jefferson Harbor, now owner Mark Freely is looking to help others.

Last Chance Animal Rescue is teaming up with Freeley’s North Shore Injury Lawyer and volunteer Jeff Segal, owner of Boom Event Source, to help thousands of animals affected and displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

Freeley is an animal adoption event leader, foster and pro bono attorney for Last Chance Animal Rescue on Long Island. He said the organization has a truck leaving next Wednesday, Sept. 6, being driven by Segal’s friend transporting all needed supplies to Texas, according to an email from Freeley.

There is a need for donations of dog and cat food bowls, leashes, collars, collapsible crates, cat litter and disposable litter pans.

“Last Chance has already stepped up to donate many of their existing donations to help these animals who are in dire need,” Freeley said of the Southampton-based nonprofit. “Donations will help us to send these items to Texas, and purchased items can also be donated to us.”

Items to be donated must be handed in no later than Sept. 5. Items can be brought to Freeley’s law office at 144 Woodbury Rd. in Woodbury from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., to Boom Event Source located at 11 Michael Avenue in Farmingdale from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. or to the Last Chance adoption event at the Selden Petco Sept. 2 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A truck will be dropping off supplies to the George Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas, which is housing over 400 animals and 8,000 people, to San Antonio Pets Alive Rescue and some will also be dropped off at St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison, New Jersey, which will be taking in 200 displaced rescue animals from the Texas flooding.

“They are so desperately need our help, and as much as possible,” Freeley said. “The animals of Texas are counting on us.”

Freeley has already collected $2,200 from 41 people in less than 24 hours after creating a GoFundMe page to help the cause. The current goal is $3,000.

“Thank you for helping these poor animals,” Danielle DiNovi said with her donation.

“God bless the victims of Hurricane Harvey,” wrote Geri Napolitano with a contribution to the cause, “both big and small.”

Dog owners like Kevin Harrigan and Taylor Gittin who are watching their dogs Cassie and Ruby play can look forward to using fresh water stations at Selden Dog Park thanks to a grant secured by Town of Brookhaven Councilman Kevin LaValle. Photo by Kyle Barr

By Kyle Barr

Dog owners in Brookhaven have something new to bark about, as the Town of Brookhaven received a grant to make improvements to the Selden Dog Park.

Last week, Councilman Kevin LaValle (R-Selden) announced the town was one of just 25 local municipalities out of 215 from across the country to receive pet supply manufacturer PetSafe’s annual Bark for Your Park grant — a $10,000 prize. Most of the funds will be used to install new water stations and water fountains inside the dog park, and the rest will go toward minor improvements.

Taylor Gittin and his dog Cassie play at Selden Dog Park. Photo by Kyle Barr

“We have a lot of dog owners that want a place where they can bring their dog who can run around with other dogs who live in the area,” LaValle said. “That’s where this all started — a lot of dog lovers out there who needed a place to go.”

Selden resident Taylor Gittin has already visited the park several times with his 1.5-year-old dog Cassie since recently moving to the area from Chicago.

“There were some parks in the neighborhood, but they were concrete, so its nice that there are trees and she can run on [the sand],” Gittin said of his old park compared to the one in Selden. “A few times coming here I forgot water bottles from home because I’m used to other dog parks having [fountains], so that’s the biggest thing for me [the town could improve on].”

Not including villages and private property, the town currently supports two off-leash dog parks — in Selden and Middle Island. The Selden Dog Park will receive sprinklers, and new plants will help beautify the entrance. Slats will be added to the entrance gate so excited dogs don’t crowd the entrance as new owners enter.

“We’re always looking to save taxpayers money, and going out and getting these grants, whether it’s for infrastructure or parks, is something we really focus in the town because it offsets our costs,” LaValle said. “It’s these little extras that the residents want and the residents need that helps keep the tax bills down. We beat out municipalities from all over the country, so this was a great thing.”

“A few times coming here I forgot water bottles from home because I’m used to other dog parks having [fountains], so that’s the biggest thing for me [the town could improve on].”

—Taylor Gittin

The Bark for Your Park grant began in 2011 as a social media contest that would earn just over 40 applicants PetSafe Brand Marketing Specialist Justin Young said in an email. In 2016, the contest was transformed into a grant-giving campaign. There are 25 grants available in different funding levels — communities building a new park can apply for a $25,000 grant, communities performing maintenance on existing parks can receive $10,000 and communities that desire new equipment can get $5,000 worth of park accessories through park furnishing company Ultrasite, a partner of PetSafe.

“The program is all about finding enthusiastic, pet-loving communities that support green spaces, with civic leaders and community organizations who want to improve their communities and encourage responsible pet ownership,” Young said in the email.

Centereach resident Kevin Harrigan is a regular to the park and takes his three dogs Ruby, Max and Jasper for a walk around Selden almost every day.

“This dog park is a God send,” Harrigan said. “From my perspective, there’s a lot of people like me — I’m in my 60s, I’ve been living in this community for 20 years and I pay my taxes every year. I have three dogs. I can’t bring them in the parks, can’t bring them in school areas. I pay the taxes to pay for all these things and I can’t enjoy any of them. [A good amount] of the population are out here without kids, so for a lot of us, dogs are our kids.”

Buttercup

MEET BUTTERCUP! This little sweetie is Buttercup! At just 1 year old , she is very affectionate, loves to play and relishes attention. Buttercup would just love to come home with you! So hurry down and meet her today — we’re sure you’ll fall in love! This friendly feline comes spayed, microchipped and up to date on all her vaccines. Kent Animal Shelter is located at 2259 River Road in Calverton. For more information on Buttercup and other adoptable pets at Kent, please call 631-727-5731 or visit www.kentanimalshelter.com.

 

Tyson. Photo courtesy of Kent Animal Shelter

MEET TYSON! Tyson has arrived! He has traveled all the way from the Bahamas in search of a loving forever home that has a heart and house big enough for him! A 7-month-old Shepherd mix, Tyson promises to give you all the kisses and all the love you’ll ever need if you adopt him. This sweetheart gets along well with other dogs, is neutered, microchipped and up to date on vaccines; so hurry down and meet him today — you’re sure to fall in love. Kent Animal Shelter is located at 2259 River Road in Calverton. For more information on Tyson and other adoptable pets at Kent, please call 631-727-5731 or visit www.kentanimalshelter.com.

Update: Tyson has been adopted!

Supervisor Ed Romaine, right, announces the kick-off of the Brew to Moo program with the Port Jeff Brewing Company. Photo from Brookhaven Town

By Alex Petroski

The next time you kick back to enjoy a Party Boat IPA or Schooner Pale Ale from the Port Jeff Brewing Company, just know you’re enjoying the suds for the greater good.

Brookhaven Town announced a partnership last week between the brewery, located in Port Jefferson, the town and Double D Bar Ranch in Manorville, a haven for abused or unwanted farm animals.

A by-product of brewing beer is literally tons of spent grains, which until now in Brookhaven would be tossed in the trash and transported via municipal garbage trucks to the landfill. A new town program, called Brew to Moo, will see regular pickups of the spent grains from the Port Jeff Brewing Company that will then be transported to the Manorville ranch, which will then be mixed into feed for the livestock on the premises. The spent grains have reduced caloric content but provide protein and fiber that can supplement corn for feed, according to a press release from the town. The Port Jeff Brewing Company is just the second brewery in Suffolk County to climb onboard with the town initiative, joining BrickHouse Brewery in Patchogue, which agreed to participate in the arrangement earlier this month.

“The fact that the beneficiary in this program is rescue animals really ices the cake for us.”

— Mike Philbrick

“When the town approached us about the Brew to Moo program we were instantly on board,” said Mike Philbrick in an email, the brewer and operator of the Port Jeff establishment. “Since our opening in 2011, we have searched for a secondary use for our spent grains. Unfortunately, we have been throwing them out most of the time with the exception of a few folks who use them as fertilizer accelerants. In other parts of the country, where agriculture and livestock is more prevalent, a brewer doesn’t have any difficulty finding a farmer to source the spent grain to. Long Island’s limited amount of livestock and Suffolk’s large amount of breweries created an anomaly not really seen elsewhere.”

Rich Devoe, the operator of Double D Bar Ranch, which is a nonprofit organization, said during a phone interview the roughly 400 animals living at the ranch never go hungry, but having a steady source of food from the two breweries will allow the organization to spend its donations and money from his own pocket elsewhere, like on barn repairs and fencing. He called the arrangement “great” and “very important.”

“The fact that the beneficiary in this program is rescue animals really ices the cake for us,” Philbrick said. “You have a product that is otherwise waste, being transported by trucks on empty routes that are already on the road, feeding animals that really need it. That’s three wins, not just two. So naturally we wanted to be a part of it and we are happy to help [Supervisor Ed Romaine] make this program a success.”

Romaine (R) said the days prior to the Brew to Moo program’s inception were a missed opportunity to carry out a personal mantra he has adopted during his years at the helm of the town.

“We’re interested in reduce, recycle, reuse,” he said in a phone interview. “This may be something that would be a model project for other towns to do. I think you’ll see in the future, we’re looking at other industries that have waste that we can reuse for allied industries. We’re looking at that every single day because we want to be on the cutting edge of waste management.”

Romaine added the town plans to reach out to more breweries and ranches to gauge interest and try to get others to participate in the sustainably sound project.

Changes may be coming to measures taken by Huntington Town to try to control the deer population, despite the concerns of a deer hunters’ nonprofit. File photo

By Sara-Megan Walsh

Deer hunters may need to memorize a new set of regulations in the Town of Huntington before the start of the 2017 hunting season.

Huntington Town Board has scheduled a public hearing for its Sept. 19 meeting on a series of proposed changes affecting the use of longbows for deer hunting.

“Over the past few years we’ve learned some things that have gone on during deer hunting season and want to make it safer for our residents,” Councilwoman Tracey Edwards (D) said.

The proposed changes take aim at restricting the use of a longbow under the town’s firearms regulations, not directly regulating deer hunting which falls under the oversight of New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Edwards, sponsor of the legislation, said the changes include requiring all hunters to provide written notification to the Town’s Department of Public Safety and the police department prior to hunting and expanding the definition of what’s considered a dwelling.

“If [hunters] are going to use the longbow we want to ensure that there’s written notification to the police department as we’ve had instances of people walking around the neighborhood, armed, and no one knows who they are,” Edwards said.

The proposed code changes will also expand the definition of a “dwelling”  to include “farm building or farm structures actually occupied or used, school building, school playground, public structure, or occupied factory or church” to prevent hunters from firing at deer within 150 feet of these buildings unless they are the property owner.

“Hunting is already regulated by the DEC so the town … is outside of their scope.”

— Michael Tessitore

If the proposed amendments are passed, anyone violating the regulations would face up to a $500 fine per day and prosecution by the town attorney’s office.

The  public hearing is set to take place mere days before the start of the 2017 deer hunting season, which runs from Oct. 1 to Jan. 31 under NYSDEC regulations. Town spokesman A.J. Carter said the town board will have the option to immediately enact the proposed code changes Sept. 19 if there are no substantial objections.

The board’s decision to permit bow hunting in September 2015 remains a contentious issue among local residents, particularly in the areas of Eatons Neck and Asharoken, which routinely deal with deer overpopulation.

“We’ve been having big issues with hunting with it since it began in Asharoken and Eatons Neck,” said Nadine Dumser, an Asharoken Village resident.

Dumser, who also owns property in Eatons Neck, said she has dealt with hunters who did not properly notify her as a homeowner they were active in the area but also entered her yard without permission.

“We would call police and complain about hunters being on our property,” she said. “When they finally do come, they are pretty powerless to do anything.”

Others believe that the Town’s efforts to further regulate longbow use oversteps its legal authority.

Michael Tessitore, founder of the nonprofit  Hunters for Deer, said the more than 85 hunters who are members of his organization will continue to follow the DEC regulations.

“Hunting is already regulated by the DEC so the town, by taking these extra steps to regulate hunting, is outside of their scope,” Tessitore said. “I believe they are going to open themselves up to litigation.”

Tessitore, who is a licensed nuisance wildlife control operator, said he helps manage more than 100 private properties including areas in Eatons Neck, Fort Salonga, and Smithtown to make agreements between hunters and homeowners who support hunting as a form a deer population management. He’s also worked with  Southampton Town to design a deer population management plan.

“I support deer hunting as a management tool,” Tessitore said. “It’s the only proven effective management tool for the overpopulation of deer.”

Artist Thomas Doncourt restores flamingo mud nests in the Marine Museum’s Hall of Fishes.
Creating an undersea mural, conserving flamingos

Small photos of a vintage, 8-by-10-foot painting of the ocean floor are taped to Sean Murtha’s easel. He glances at the photos, dips his brush onto his palette and applies paint to a stand of tall sea grass. He is creating a new version of the faded, original 1924 painting — lying nearby on the marble floor of the Hall of Fishes on the first floor of the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum’s Marine Museum in Centerport.

Just steps away from Murtha, Thomas Doncourt, a foreground artist, lies inside a small exhibition case on a slender platform he built. The device allows him to work in the diorama that contains a group of preserved tropical shore birds without damaging the surrounding foliage and other objects. Using steel mesh, plaster, sand and paint, he is reconstructing a section of beach that, after nearly a century, has crumbled, leaving a hole in the scene.

These two accomplished artists, along with Stephanie Gress, the Vanderbilt’s director of curatorial affairs, and her staff, are engaged in the Marine Collections Conservation Project.

Artist Sean Murtha creates a new undersea background painting for a fish exhibition case.

Funded by a $135,000 grant from The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, the project has been underway for two years. The latest phase of work began last winter, when five flamingos and a dozen fish from the Marine Museum spent the winter in New Jersey at the studio of taxidermist George Dante. Dante and his colleagues at Wildlife Preservations cleaned decades of dust from the specimens, touched up fins and feathers, and returned them recently to their home at the Vanderbilt.

During the spring and summer, Murtha and Doncourt completed weeks of crucial repair and restoration on the background paintings and vegetation in the exhibition and diorama cases where the creatures live.

In the flamingo diorama, Doncourt repaired and repainted the birds’ pedestal-shaped mud nests after Murtha had finished the cleaning and spot restoration of the curved background painting that depicts the birds’ homes in inlets along the coast of Cuba.

Sean Murtha place fish on completed mural.

The painting was created in the early 1920s by William Belanske. Later, William K. Vanderbilt II hired Belanske, who had been working for the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), to be his artist on the 1931-1932 global ocean journey of his ship, the Alva. Belanske later became the resident artist and first curator of the Vanderbilt Museum.

Murtha, Doncourt and Dante, like Belanske, are former members of the American Museum of Natural History staff, and the latest generation of the century-long Vanderbilt-AMNH collaboration. Over the past few years, the three also completed extensive work on the wild-animal dioramas in the museum’s Stoll Wing, funded by significant grants from the Roy M. Speer Foundation. That tradition began with Belanske in the early 1920s and continued with the artists and scientists Vanderbilt hired in the late 1920s to create his nine-diorama Habitat Room that depicts animal life from several continents. The centerpiece of the room is a 32-foot whale shark, the world’s largest taxidermied fish, caught off Fire Island in 1935.

The tradition resumed in the late 20th century, when AMNH artists were hired to restore the deteriorating habitat, which had been closed from 1996 to 2009. The project was made possible by a federal Save America’s Treasures grant, through the National Parks Service.

The finished project.

Murtha restored the flamingo diorama painting by carefully painting over the numerous water streaks. “The case is located on a wall of the building,” he said. “The painting was created on the surface of the plaster wall itself. The heat and outside moisture leached through the wall from the outside, then through the surface of the painting, which caused streaking over the decades.”

Murtha’s work makes the nearly century-old painting look bright and vibrant. “Now, with the streaks covered, there is no distraction from the birds and the marsh,” he said. “Plus, the flamingos, which are now re-installed, cover most of the streaks I was unable to paint over.”

Murtha also created a new version of the 8-by-10-foot, 1924 canvas background painting in the exhibit case titled “Fish from the Atlantic Ocean, the Madeira Islands and Bermuda.” The case contains about six dozen fish and nearly three dozen examples of coral lying on the sand of the “ocean floor” at the bottom of the case. The fish and coral were removed temporarily for cleaning and repairs, and their locations marked on the new canvas before Murtha began painting.

Doncourt also restored tropical foliage and rebuilt the crumbling beach in the diorama “Shore Group — Man O’War Birds and Pelicans (Lesser Sandpipers).” “The beach was originally created by placing a layer of sand over nongalvanized steel screen, which has rusted over the years and crumbled,” Doncourt said. “I rebuilt it with galvanized steel lath, which won’t rust.”

After removing the sand and other nearby materials, he cut heavier galvanized mesh to repair the hole. “I covered the mesh with a plaster bandage, painted it a base color, and then covered it with the sand and other foreground materials,” he said.

When the birds were back in place, Doncourt repaired the foreground and repainted it in two tones. “I went in with a brush on a long stick to add a third, darker color,” he said. “I have an extendable ‘claw’ like grandma used to get cans off a high shelf, and used it to place dried leaves and twigs on the ground around the birds.”

Another expert who worked to conserve the flamingos was Marco Antonio Olcha, a skilled taxidermist and conservator from Cuba and a consultant to Dante. Olcha, who works for the National Center for Conservation, Restoration and Museology in Havana, said he gently vacuumed the flamingo feathers to remove decades of dust.

“I also used a brush, and finally a special conservator’s paper, moistened with a water-based soap solution, to complete the gentle process of cleaning the feathers,” Olcha said. “Then I repainted the flamingos’ beaks, legs, and feet.”

The earlier phases of the Marine Collections Conservation Project involved extensive conservation and preservation work by Vanderbilt curators on nearly 1,500 of the museum’s fluid-preserved ocean specimens.

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum is located at 180 Little Neck Road, Centerport. Through Sept. 3, the museum will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. The Marine Museum is currently closed for further renovations but the Habitat Room and all other exhibits are open. For more information, call 631-854-5579 or visit www.vanderbiltmuseum.org.

All photos courtesy of Vanderbilt Museum

By Matthew Kearns, DVM

Marijuana has now become much more of a mainstay in the United States. Starting in 1937 marijuana was illegal throughout the United States. This lasted until the Compassionate Use Act was passed in California in 1996. There are now eight states (and the District of Columbia) that legally allow the use of recreational marijuana and 20 states that allow the use of medical marijuana.

There are also advertisements on the internet that sell a variety of cannabis products for pets that include capsules, oils, butters, tinctures, infused chews and dog treats. Now, before you start asking your veterinarian to become Dr. “Cheech and Chong” or Dr. “Method Man,” I must print this disclaimer: The law does not approve the use of medical marijuana for pets in any of these 50 United States or the District of Columbia.

The chemical substances derived from marijuana products are called cannabinoids. There are actually over 80 cannabinoids derived from the Cannabis plant but, only two are of real importance for our purposes: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is found in the marijuana plant, while CBD is found in hemp. THC has a psychotropic effect (what gets people “high”) but CBD is the nonpsychotropic compound found primarily in hemp.

What, historically, are the uses of marijuana and hemp? Human studies have shown that marijuana helps with glaucoma, nausea related to chemotherapy, neuropathy (nerve associated pain) and spasticity. There are also anecdotal studies that marijuana products can help with seizures. Both THC-based and CBD-based cannabinoids have an effect on cognition, immunity, inflammation, preventing cell death and cancer, pain, emotional memory, nausea and appetite stimulation. There are studies that state that cannabinoids have potent antibacterial effects against MERSA.

There are (as mentioned above) a large number of these products available without a prescription (many of them hemp based). In order to ship these products without a prescription, they have to contain less than 1 percent of CBD and 0.3 percent of THC. Unfortunately, this has opened the door to some unscrupulous entrepreneurs. Many of the hemp-based products sold on the internet are derived from industrial-grade hemp and only used for fiber.

If one remembers from previous articles on supplements that the supplement industry was able to get Congress to pass the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act in 1994. This act, in a nutshell, stated that no supplement (human or veterinary) can claim to diagnose, prevent, mitigate, treat or cure a particular disease. However, general claims that link a particular supplement to the prevention of particular diseases are allowed.

There are many benefits to the use of cannabis products. Unfortunately, medical marijuana is unavailable for pets, and “let the buyer beware” when choosing cannabis products. I’ll keep you updated to any changes as I find out.

Dr. Kearns practices veterinary medicine from his Port Jefferson office and is pictured with his son Matthew and his dog Jasmine.

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