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On The Light Side

January 6, 1988

DETROIT (AP) _ If Fido is freezing or Spot is shivering, $16 can buy a fur-lined parka to keep the poor pet toasty this winter.

″Dogs can catch cold, too,″ said Chris Buben of Pooch’s pet store in Flushing. ″(For) some of the dogs that get groomed down quite short, it is kind of smart to buy them a sweater.″

And business has been booming at many Michigan pet supply stores as single- digit temperatures linger.

Buben said his store has sold 15 dog sweaters in the past week, compared with three to five in a normal winter week, and more are being ordered. He said the sweaters sell from $6.95 to $14.95.

But owners who really want to warm their pets can buy hooded, fur-lined nylon parkas for $16 to $29 at Critters Cove in Saginaw. Store owner M.J. Clapp says a doggy sweater, with such slogans as ″Cat Busters,″ is most popular.

For $12.95, dog owners can buy four red plastic pooch boots at Mr. Z’s Grooming in Livonia. ″They look real funny in them,″ owner Doreen Beardsley said. ″It makes them walk funny. In fact, I just put them on my dogs as kind of a joke. It’s just something to look cute.″

Cat owners frequently seek advice about keeping their felines warm, the store owners said, but veterinarians say keeping their fur from tangling is the best insulation.

Cats generally tolerate cold better than dogs and find places to escape the cold on their own, Saginaw veterinarian Virginia A. Leis said.

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - For the past seven years, about 7,000 crows have treating Kansas City as their winter resort, and city health official Alan Thomas is tired of hearing about it.

″If I had a choice, there’d never be another crow here,″ said Thomas, who fights a losing battle against the scavengers. ″You can only take so much. I’m known as the crow eater. That’s me. I certainly eat enough of it.″

The crows settled in midtown after they were chased from a hospital by noisemakers and recorded crow distress calls. About 7,000 crows gather each day at dusk to roost in the trees and squawk through the night, Thomas said.

″Other than total annihilation, there’s nothing you can do,″ Thomas said.

Thomas advocates poisoning the birds or spraying a substance on their feathers that would make them freeze to death. But he said ideas like that in the past have been killed by people wanting to protect the birds.

″I’ve hit the old brick wall too many times to try again,″ said Thomas, who expects the birds will hang around until March.

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