I have a 2 year old beagle/cattle dog dog named Penny. I found her via Cuddly Canines Rescue (which I had learned about from Petfinder). She had been taken in by the rescue as a tiny pup because her mother had stomped on and killed most of her litter. She was bottle fed, then adopted by me at 3 months old.
Outside of the family dog I grew up with, Penny is my first dog; I cannot imagine having a better one. She is very submissive, but loves people and other dogs immensely.
Like most dogs, she has some quirky habits. Just before this past New Years, she ate about 86 cents in change (without our knowledge), then threw it up about 12 hours later. She then got very very sick. We took her to the pet hospital and learned she had acute zinc toxicity as a result of the pennies she had eaten. We also learned that pennies are very, very toxic when ingested and are especially dangerous for smaller dogs (Penny is 20 lbs), babies, and toddlers. Had we not brought her to the pet hospital, she could have died from multiple organ failure. After doing some research, I also learned that coins are the most commonly ingested foreign object by children aged 6 mo to 3 years.
Knowing that EVERYONE in the US has pennies in their home, and I'd wager most don't know about zinc toxicity, I decided to make a PSA to spread the word to pet owners and parents (http://youtu.be/3_f_GH-w5zw). I also wrote an article about it (http://shaymarie.hubpages.com/hub/zinc_toxicity).
It is my hope that Penny can help spread the word about zinc and penny toxicity.