Haunted House for Dogs and Cats
Just in time for Halloween, comes the horror story of an animal hoarder in California named Barbara Ryan. Let's just hope authorities can put an end to Ryan's systematic and repeated acts of cruelty and that they steer clear of the shelter that allegedly returned some victimized animals to the hoarder's care after an earlier raid. Dogs and cats have no choice but to depend on us; sometimes it's a very unlucky bargain for them.
The Making of Rex 2.0
This month, Reason magazine takes a closer look at BioArts' ongoing efforts to expand and improve dog-cloning. The article provides some nuts-and-bolts details that were new to me and raises intriguing questions about the differences between cloning and traditional breeding. Check out the reader reactions as well.
Creative Canine Costumes
No matter how many Halloween parties there are and no matter how many treats they would get, my dogs would not be happy if I tried to dress them up. So I must live vicariously through other people's creative canine costumes. Pictured here is Kirby the "Greyhound Bus" and Linda Maton, her impeccably dressed driver, of Bellville, MI. They're the winners of Chicagoland Tails' annual Halloween costume contest. You can see more clever costumes here. If your pup has trick-or-treat plans, we'd love to see a photo!
Julia Kamysz Lane
A Goth Pet
Prowling around the Internet is a little like wandering through a used bookstore -- lots of times I don't find what I'm after but I still go home with a few goodies. Like today, I was searching for some information on leashes and stumbled onto this eye-opening story about a British teenager who lives as a pet. Watching my pups snoozing in the October sun, I thought, I can relate to the dream of embracing a dog's life. That is, until canine-wannabe Tasha Maltby told a reporter she doesn't go anywhere without her fiance at the other end of the leash.
The Trouble with Xylitol
I've received two Xylitol warning emails in the last two weeks, the original seems to be at least one-year-old based on the snopes.com reference. But, regardless, it's worth a mention and a reminder that Xylitol is toxic for dogs--and more widely used than you might think.
A $75 Million Bone
If the obstacle to pet overpopulation is money--consider that challenge handled. Orthopedic surgeon, inventor, and 346th richest American Gary Michelson will give $25 million to the brainy someone who conjures a safe, one-time non-surgical means to sterilize male and female cats and dogs. And that's not all. Michelson's non-profit Found Animals Foundation will provide an additional $50 million to support the research into plausible approaches. Michelson and others, including the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs, believe an inexpensive, convenient alternative to traditional spay and neuter is the essential missing line of attack in the battle to save millions of dogs and cats from euthanasia every year. My favorite line in the USA Today story on the program is when Michelson says, "No one will stop what they're doing and turn their attention to this problem for $10 million. That's not enough."
Dog-Friendly Travel Blog
Like to travel with your dog? Then you should check out Car Go Dogs. I drive all over the Midwest competing with my dogs in agility trials, so I'm always looking for dog-friendly vehicle info, accessories and travel tips. It's nice to find all these things in one spot!
Julia Kamysz Lane
Soldier Pleas For Pup to Leave Iraq
Five months ago, Sgt. Gwen Beberg and a fellow soldier saved a little black and white puppy from a pile of burning trash in Baghdad. Soon, Beberg will return home to Minnesota and she requested that her beloved dog, Ratchet, return with her. The Army said no, according to Defense Department rules. Worried that Ratchet would not survive the streets of Iraq, or worse yet be decreed a "nuisance" by locals and killed, Beberg's supporters started an online petition urging the Army to reconsider. The petition has already garnered more than 12,000 signatures. Donations to help Ratchet and other Iraqi pups return home with their U.S. soldiers are gratefully accepted at Operation Baghdad Pups.
Something to keep in mind before you open your wallet: Terri Crisp serves as program coordinator for Operation Baghdad Pups. If you refer back to my post, "Noah's Wish Settles Katrina Allegations," from August 10, 2007, the Attorney General of California investigated Crisp's former rescue group, Noah’s Wish, for its alleged misallotment of Katrina funds. As part of a settlement that followed, Crisp agreed that she would not "serve as an officer, director or trustee, or in any position having the duties or responsibilities of an officer, director, or trustee, with any nonprofit organization for a period of five (5) years from the execution of this Settlement Agreement.” Granted, the title of program coordinator does not appear to break the agreement but I'm wary that she is involved with a rescue group again so quickly after the Katrina investigation.
Julia Kamysz Lane
Poop Patrol Demands Dog DNA
The world has totally gone to the dogs ... and CSI! In a suburb of Tel Aviv, Israel, dog lovers are eligible for rewards if they scoop the poop. I have two questions: 1) who has the fun job of collecting and testing the properly bagged and tossed poop, and 2) is it really necessary to reward someone for responsible behavior? I'm all for positive reinforcement, but I hate to think that people will only do the right thing because of a "what's in it for me?" mindset.
Julia Kamysz Lane
Michelle Obama Talks Dog
A shelter mutt in the White House? About as likely as a biracial president with an African name. Hmmm. I may be jumping ahead by imagining Kongs in the Oval Office, but one thing is now for sure: When Malia and Sasha Obama get their post-election pup, they’ll adopt that lucky dog from a shelter, rescue or foster situation. No pet stores or breeders for them. That's good judgment.