Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

This week: a robocall strike force, eliminating pet odors, diapers for dogs, the cost to make an EpiPen, and charities that aren’t charitable with their information.


1. There’s an Elite ‘Robocall Strike Force’ Being Formed to Protect You From Scams

[Credit.com] “The phone rings and you race to answer it, only to be greeted by silence, the voice of a stranger or a recorded message when you say hello. You’ve placed your number on the National Do Not Call Registry, and that’s stopped the legitimate telemarketers from calling, but scammers are still getting through and they’re ignoring your request not to get these calls.”

I just wrote about stopping robocalls (as well as junk mail and spam) a few weeks ago. I don’t know about you, but robocalls are killing me. In fact — no lie — I got one as I was writing this. So the formation of a “strike force” can’t come soon enough for me. If you’re in the same boat, give this one a read. The bottom line is that a few dozen tech companies are getting together to deal with these things once and for all. Here’s hoping they’re successful.

2. A Natural Approach to Eliminating Pet Odor

[The Dollar Stretcher] ” As most pet owners know, there’s a variety of ‘pet smells,’ none of them pleasant. The problem is worse when owners own multiple pets, especially canines. Bad smells can be traced to a variety of reasons. Some dogs, particularly hound breeds, excrete more oils than other dogs.”

We have two cats and a dog — Lola, the consumer canine. To be honest, I never really notice their odor, although my wife does. She should read this article. Advice includes using a black light to detect some odor sources, using air purifiers, how to clean pet stains, dealing with dog breath and more. If the smell in your house is getting to you, sniff it out.

3. It’s Jaw-Dropping How Little It Costs to Make an EpiPen

[Money] “Another day, another infuriating bit of news about Mylan’s pricey — and lifesaving — EpiPen: Pharmaceutical industry experts estimate that the medicine and its auto-injector, for which Mylan charges roughly $300 a pop, cost around $30 to produce.”

It’s fascinating to watch what happens when unfettered capitalism runs amok. While our nation is virtually built on free markets and competition, sometimes it’s necessary to draw the line. Or is it? Check out this article and see if you think pure capitalism is in the best interests of our nation and your family.

4. Do You Know Where Your Donations Go?

[Debt.com] “Have you ever given money to Teach for America, the $295 million nonprofit that brings educators to low-income neighborhoods across the country? What about the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, one of the largest conservation groups in the United States which brought in $127 million in 2014?”

This article is about charities that are less than transparent about where their money goes. If you donate, it’s a must-read.

Over the years I’ve done several less than flattering stories about nonprofits, most recently this story about Wreaths Across America. My experiences have made me leery of supporting any charity without a thorough look at their finances. Don’t ever donate without doing your homework.

5. The 5 Best Pet Diapers

[Wise Bread] “Pet diapers provide protection against incontinence, leaks, and accidents. You’ll want to find a leak-proof solution that absorbs wetness and fits your dog comfortably. You can choose either disposable or washable and reusable pet diapers.”

Just the other day I discovered there were plastic caps to cover cat claws: unfortunately, however, not soon enough to save my furniture. Now I learn there are not only pet diapers, there are enough varieties to produce a “best of” article. I’ve had animals for many years. How did all this stuff get invented without me noticing?

Don’t forget to share your thoughts and reactions in comments below or on our Facebook page!

Stacy Johnson

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