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  1. Groups raise concerns about rodenticides that kill pets, wildlife28 Jul 2014 13:07:05 CDT
    Six wildlife and conservation groups are petitioning for a state ban in New York of anticoagulants used to poison rats, argui -More-  More...
  2. Listen to AVMA's podcast on Lawn and Garden Care and Pet Safety28 Jul 2014 13:07:05 CDT
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  3. Scientists develop chikungunya vaccine28 Jul 2014 13:07:05 CDT
    Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a vaccine for chikungunya, and they say the approach they used  -More-  More...
  4. Australian veterinarians urge vaccination to protect horses, people from Hendra28 Jul 2014 13:07:05 CDT
    Horse owners in Australia, especially in Queensland and New South Wales, should immediately have their animals vaccinated aga -More-  More...
  5. Pit bull in N.M. recovering from acid attack28 Jul 2014 13:07:05 CDT
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Dog Amazingly Leads a Lost Cop to a House fire
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For The Love Of Dogs
  1. Watch the Fainting Schnauzer Currently Exploding YouTubeMon, 28 Jul 2014 12:00:00 -0700
    On Thursday, Rebecca Ehalt posted a video of her dog Casey on YouTube, and it's nearing 20 million views and 6,000 comments after just five days. The video shows Rebecca's excited dog after she returns from a two-year stay in Slovenia, and Casey is so excited she faints. It got us thinking: How do you possibly make a YouTube video that gets 20 million views and nearly 6,000 comments in five days?  Our step-by-step guide to making a YouTube video that gets 20 million views and nearly 6,000 comments in five days Share this image function changeWidth(obj) { if(parseInt($(obj).parent().width()) > parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) Step 1: Make sure you have a fantastic dog Rebecca Ehalt and her family have Casey, a nine-year-old Schnauzer.  Step 2: Go to Slovenia for two years Or anywhere in Eastern Europe, really. Slovenia may have nothing to do with anything, but we like to cover all the bases. We recommend visiting Travelocity.  Step 3: Get engaged there Aw, congrats, Rebecca!  Step 4: Get married and then come back to Pennsylvania for a wedding reception that your parents are throwing, to allow you to celebrate with friends who didn't make it to the wedding in Slovenia This is top-notch parenting. Good on you, parents.  Step 5: Turn on the iPhone camera and capture THIS Did you see that? The dog fainting? Those squeals of happiness? Can you believe this wonderful dog? If only you had held the camera horizontally so all the subterranean commentators wouldn't crawl out of the sewers to complain that you are holding the camera vertically.  Step 6: Go to the vet Yes, these fine dog parents went to the vet to make sure Casey was okay, because, you know, she fainted when someone came home. She's fine, just extremely happy.  Step 7: Post video  Congratulations! You have 20 million views. Sit back and wait for the Today show to call.  Share this image function changeWidth(obj) { if(parseInt($(obj).parent().width()) > parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) Via Today Read about dogs in the news on Dogster: Would "Candy's Law" Solve the Problem of Cops Killing Dogs? What Do You Do During a Tornado When Your Dog Is Barred from the Storm Shelter? In One Touching Video, An Alzheimer's Patient Speaks Again -- To the Family Dog More...
  2. PETA's "Water for Vegans" Campaign Shows It Values Neither People Nor AnimalsMon, 28 Jul 2014 08:00:00 -0700
    Rule number one for animal lovers should go something like this: Caring for the welfare of animals does not get you out of your responsibility to your fellow human beings. A part of me would like to think that didn't need to be said. When I see people who care about animals and will go to great lengths for his or her dog or cat, my natural instinct is to assume that this person is likely to show the same kind of compassion for human beings. Fortunately -- or unfortunately -- there's groups like PETA to keep me grounded in reality. Share this image Ann Millspaugh / Creative Commons function changeWidth(obj) { if(parseInt($(obj).parent().width()) > parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) PETA's latest media antic is an attempt to exploit the water crisis in Detroit. This week, the group announced that it would be happy to pay the water bills of 10 families -- if those families would be willing to commit to a vegan diet for one month. The reason that the crisis in Detroit has so many people watching in stunned horror is that thousands of people are being denied a staple of life -- water -- because they can't pay their bills. From the corporate point of view, their money is more important than their lives. PETA's offer is contemptible, condescending, and ignorant, and an excellent example of why I think that the group is bad for humans and animals alike. In essence, the offer is identical to the position of the city utility: Do what we say, or you can't have one of the basics of life. The United Nations has quite justly condemned the shut-off campaign as a violation of human rights. Just as human rights are not dependent on the ability to pay for them, they're not dependent on a person's choice of religion, sexuality, political party, or diet. Human rights come as part of the package, just by showing up on the planet. Share this image An especially sensationalistic PETA ad. function changeWidth(obj) { if(parseInt($(obj).parent().width()) > parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) The shut-offs are not because Detroit happens to be filled with people who are too lazy and cheap to pay their bills. They're happening because of systemic poverty; most of these people are having to do a very deadly kind of calculus every month, where they choose between paying the bills for food, housing, water, and medical care. When you're that broke, the questions are answered based on what you need today. Tomorrow, next week, and next month will have to take care of themselves when they come around. I've been known to display a certain cynicism toward my fellow human beings, but PETA consistently jumps over the line into a poisonous misanthropy that leaves a bad taste on my tongue. Some people claim that the group is too radical, but ultimately, my problem with PETA is that it is essentially conservative, and it will gleefully pander to the sexism, racism, and class prejudices ingrained in our society. Perhaps I would be a little kinder to it if I thought that it was genuinely doing good things for animals. But I really do see the fate of animals and humans as being intertwined. If you don't understand the realities that your fellow human beings are dealing with every day, there's no way that you're going to be able to advise them on how to care for the animals in their lives, either. PETA seems not only unable to understand the realities of human beings, but unwilling to even try. For instance, one of the realities that poor people in America face are "food deserts." Poor neighborhoods have fewer grocery stores, they're farther apart, and those that are there offer fewer choices in food. Just as an example, it's easy for me to pick up organic foods in downtown Berkeley. We have an Andronico's, a Trader Joe's, and a Safeway, all within about a mile radius, with various specialty shops in between. When I lived in Brooklyn, however, most of our daily shopping was done at the bodega on the corner. There was a grocery store a few blocks away for more extensive shopping, but it was still tiny. No matter where you shopped, fresh produce was hard to get, and it came in a narrow selection. We usually wound up throwing out half-full milk cartons because it went bad in a matter of days. And this was a neighborhood that was on the verge of gentrification, just starting to become popular with hipsters. That's the reality of thousands who aren't even in situations as extreme as Detroit. Nevertheless, PETA feels comfortable speaking to the people of Detroit as though becoming vegan were as easy a transition as changing your shoes: The last thing that people who are struggling need is increased health-care costs. By accepting our offer to go vegan, not only will families be getting an immediate financial boost and helping animals, if they stick with it, they'll also lower their risk of obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and strokes. What people who are struggling really need is for PETA not to assume it understand the problems of poverty better than those who actually live it. Share this image Dog in Bathroom Sink, Drinking Water by Shutterstock. function changeWidth(obj) { if(parseInt($(obj).parent().width()) > parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) I know that people are asking why I'm paying so much attention to people on a blog about dogs. But that's the point: Social upheaval like the kind that's happening in Detroit does affect the dogs and cats who live there as well. We saw this in Sochi, during the Olympics: The massive number of stray dogs on the streets was ultimately the result of corrupt government and contractors who seized peoples' homes in order to build facilities for the games. The people went from houses with yards into tiny apartments, and the dogs went onto the streets. As people in Detroit find themselves less able to provide food or water for themselves, they are also going to find themselves less able to provide them for the dogs and cats. It's the job of an organization like PETA to have the vision to see that sort of thing. Because it doesn't, animals and people suffer from its policies. What do you think? Does PETA's offer make sense? Or is it condescending and misguided? Let me know in the comments. Via Deadline Detroit and Jezebel Read about what other dog owners experience Dogster: Retractable Dog Leashes: How to Nearly Kill Yourself in Three Easy Steps Dog Owners Say the Wackiest Things to Trainers 5 Smart-Ass Answers to Stupid Pet Questions More...
  3. A Microchip Sends a Lost Family Dog Home After 7 YearsFri, 25 Jul 2014 11:30:00 -0700
    If only all dogs could have this problem: A little Maltese named Reese has one too many families who want to give him a forever home. And both, it seems, have pretty strong cases.  Reese came into the national spotlight last weekend, when he turned up lost on the side of a Tacoma, Washington, highway. A vet scanned him for a chip and found one: Reese was owned Dinah Miller of Tyler, Texas, some 1,800 miles away. The vet called her and discovered more shocking news. Reese had been missing for seven years, and the Millers dearly missed their dog. Share this image function changeWidth(obj) { if(parseInt($(obj).parent().width()) > parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) Every time you hear a bark, you think, that sounds like Reese, Miller told KHOU. We drove. We searched. We looked over fences. We peeped everywhere we could without getting shot. In short order, Reese was booked on a flight and flown back to Texas, into the embrace of her long-lost family. It seemed a happy ending to an all-too-familiar tale.  Share this image Miller picking up the dog at the airport. function changeWidth(obj) { if(parseInt($(obj).parent().width()) > parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) But Miller didn't know the full story yet. Where had Reese been for those seven years? It was only when the dog was back in Texas that the rest of the pieces fell into place. Miller learned Reese had been with another family, a family who adopted the dog at a Texas shelter six years ago and then moved to Washington, and they wanted their dog back. Kelli Daivs told KHOU that Reese -- or rather Harley, for that is what they call the dog -- had escaped after her two-year-old daughter unlatched the front door, and they had been looking everywhere for her.   "We were running down the street trying to find him, and she was crying, 'My Harley ran away,'" said Davis. "Every day we have gone out and printed fliers and walked around the neighborhood several times a day calling his name." Share this image The Davis family. function changeWidth(obj) { if(parseInt($(obj).parent().width()) > parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) Miller, though, isn't giving the dog back, and the Davis family is crushed. Miller said her "heart goes out to the family," according to KHOU, but there is "no way" she's giving back Reese. She said the dog is being treated like a king back in Texas.  Davis claims that the dog had been marked as an owner-surrender at the shelter where she adopted the dog, but when she contacted the shelter to bolster her case, she found out it purges its records after five years.  Share this image function changeWidth(obj) { if(parseInt($(obj).parent().width()) > parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) The Davis family is heartbroken, yet according to KHOU legal expert Gerald Treece, there's not much it can do, because the dog legally belongs to Miller.  "Harley is my daughter's best friend," said Davis. "That's her little buddy. They do everything together. ... I don't know what to do. We just lost a part of our family."  Imagine having a dog for six years, one you rescued from a shelter, only to have him suddenly flown to another state, never to be seen again. And then imagine losing your precious dog and searching everywhere for him, only to get a call seven years later that he's been found.   It's a tough one. What side do you fall on? Via KHOU Read about dogs in the news on Dogster: Would "Candy's Law" Solve the Problem of Cops Killing Dogs? What Do You Do During a Tornado When Your Dog Is Barred from the Storm Shelter? In One Touching Video, An Alzheimer's Patient Speaks Again -- To the Family Dog More...
  4. Dogs Dress Up as Superheroes for Comic-Con WeekendThu, 24 Jul 2014 14:00:00 -0700
    In a just universe, I would at this moment be seated in what these days passes for the more luxurious section of an airliner, en route to San Diego for Comic-Con International. I would also have a bulging pocketload of disposable cash, which by the end of the weekend would be consumed in purchases of graphic novels, t-shirts, a copy of the first issue of The Fantastic Four autographed by Jack Kirby, a whole boxload of indie tabletop RPG manuals, a life-size remote-control Dalek, and at least one ill-advised but memorable hookup with a couple of particularly charming cosplayers. This is not a just universe, however, which means that I'm sitting in the Berkeley hills, sipping my morning coffee in a semi-dressed state while I write up this piece. Share this image A character from the lesser-known fantasy epic, "Game of Bones." function changeWidth(obj) { if(parseInt($(obj).parent().width()) > parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) On a more somber note, however, in a just universe, there also would not be thousands of dogs lingering in shelters waiting for someone to give them a home. In this universe, there are. And while there seems to be no one striving to rectify my situation, the Helen Woodward Animal Center is using Comic-Con as a way to find homes for some of those dogs. Share this image From the canine branch of "Monsters, Inc." function changeWidth(obj) { if(parseInt($(obj).parent().width()) > parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) If you happen to be in the area, on your way to plunder the merch tables and listen to Tatiana Maslany talk about the next season of Orphan Black you can drop by and meet some of the center's adoptable pets, who will do their own version of cosplay. Friday morning (from 7 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.), the Woodward center will hold what it calls "Paw-Micon" -- a miniature version of Comic-Con for animal lovers. It's true that it won't have any life-size, remote-control Daleks, but if you decide to adopt one of its adoptable animals, the center will probably be even more rewarding. For one thing, you won't have to worry quite so much about a rehomed dog exterminating the neighbors. Share this image The Pawnisher is ready to strike. function changeWidth(obj) { if(parseInt($(obj).parent().width()) > parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) All joking aside, the Paw-Micon Convention sounds like a wonderful and charming idea. Of course, it probably wouldn't be a very good idea for someone to adopt a pet and take that animal straight from Paw-Micon to Comic-Con at the San Diego Convention Center. Coming into a new home is confusing enough without first having to confront a crowd of noisy geeks waving light sabers around. But Comic-Con draws well more than 100,000 people to the area every year, and that makes it an excellent opportunity to promote not only the Woodward center and its work, but the idea that there are lots of dogs out there that need to be rehomed. Share this image One of last year's Paw-Micon attendees, the mild-mannered but still super "Bark Kent." function changeWidth(obj) { if(parseInt($(obj).parent().width()) > parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) To commemorate the event, the Woodward center will dress up its adoptable dogs as canine versions of some of the great geek icons, including Batman, Spider-Man, Superman, Wolverine, Gumby, the Punisher, and Sulley (from Monsters Inc.). This isn't the first time that the Helen Woodward Animal Center has held Paw-Micon. It has done it alongside the more well-known event since 2012, and it has, understandably, always been a success. No one appreciates costumes like geeks, and costumed animals have an edge on even the most imaginative human cosplayer. The Woodward center will give gift bags to the first humans who show up dressed as a superhero, supervillain, or character from Star Wars, Game of Thrones, or a Pixar/Disney movie. Whether you're in San Diego for Comic-Con, or just interested from afar, you can follow #Pawmicon on Twitter to keep track of the happenings. The Paw-Micon Convention will be held on Friday, July 25, at the Davis House Park at the corner of Fourth and Island between 7 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Via The Helen Woodward Animal Center Check out more cuteness on Dogster: Monday Miracle: Bunny The Dog Defies Cuteness Conventions Cute Video Alert: A Dog and a Disabled Cat Are Great Play Pals Vid We Love: Charcoal the Lab Loves His Bucket More Than ANYTHING More...
  5. Do Dogs Get Jealous? A New Study Says YesThu, 24 Jul 2014 13:00:00 -0700
    Do dogs get jealous? Most dog owners would say yes, but until now, no scientist has. That changed when researchers headed down to the store and picked up a robotic dog and a plastic jack-o'-lantern, and knocked on the doors of 36 dog owners, asking for a moment of their time.  It was a fairly simple study, which is best when you're studying dogs. Scientists from the University of California San Diego, led by psychologist Christine Harris, set up a camera, set out the two items -- again, robotic dog and a plastic jack-o'-lantern -- and asked each dog's owner, in front of the dog, to interact with each.   Share this image Dog with pumpkin by Shutterstock. function changeWidth(obj) { if(parseInt($(obj).parent().width()) > parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) First, the owners were asked to act like the robotic dog was a real dog -- it had a robotic tail that moved, and he barked. So, the owners did their thing, with the patting and the "good boys," and the real dogs fell for it, big time. They got pissed. According to Forbes, 78 percent of the dogs displayed pushing and touching in response to the fake dog. A third tried to muscle in on the robotic dog and steal the pets, placing their bodies between the robot dog and their owners. One quarter of them snapped at the fake dog. All of this points to the real dogs being jealous of the fake dogs.  Then the study got really fun. The owners were asked to pretend the jack-o'-lantern was a dog and play with it like a dog. But only 42 percent of the very confused dogs fell for that nonsense and pushed the Halloween basket out of the way. Reachers wanted to see how the dogs reacted to things that were clearly fake. Most just ignored it.    Share this image Cute puppy sniffing teddy bear by Shutterstock. function changeWidth(obj) { if(parseInt($(obj).parent().width()) > parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) You might think: Hell, how do you know the real dogs thought the robot dogs were real? Well, science has you covered. Science looked closely at the behavior of the dogs interacting with the fake dogs, and 86 percent of those dogs sniffed the butt of the robot dog. You don't sniff the butt of something you don't think is alive, say the researchers, pounding the table. Why do all this? Well, scientists haven't really figured out jealously yet -- they don't know if its innate or an emotion humans learn. And they know this foray into animal emotion doesn't prove all that much. More science is needed. "This is a very new science. We are just developing new tools to better understand animal emotions," Laurie Santos, director of the Canine Cognition Center at Yale University, told NPR.  However, if we take the study at face value -- that dogs feel jealously and react according -- she says, "either jealousy is less complicated because animals show it, or animals are more complicated than we thought." Via Forbes Read about dogs in the news on Dogster: Would "Candy's Law" Solve the Problem of Cops Killing Dogs? What Do You Do During a Tornado When Your Dog Is Barred from the Storm Shelter? In One Touching Video, An Alzheimer's Patient Speaks Again -- To the Family Dog More...
  6. Is Adopting Shelter Dogs Really a "Crapshoot"? The Facts Say NoWed, 23 Jul 2014 13:00:00 -0700
    It's hard enough to get people to go to the shelter to get a rescue dog instead of favoring the cute doggies in the pet store window, but it's even more so when you have someone like Erin Auerbach around. In case you haven't seen her latest column, the title should sum up the problem for you: "Why I'd Never Adopt a Shelter Dog Again" Auerbach has apparently had some bad luck with dogs from shelters, and on that count, my heart aches for her. The first one she describes is Yogi, who was diagnosed with cancer six months after she adopted him. Next came Clarence, who didn't have cancer, but had epilepsy. The anti-convulsants caused liver deterioration, weight gain, and anxiety. "Five years later," she writes, "his seizures and pancreatitis got the best of him. Euthanizing him was a relief." Share this image Two Puppies Look Through the Bars of a Cage by Shutterstock. function changeWidth(obj) { if(parseInt($(obj).parent().width()) > parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) The third one is Mookie, whom Auerbach had even before Yogi. Mookie had been healthy for more than 10 years when he started to have a series of health problems, including seizures and senility. After two years of rushing him to the vet, she found a vet who would euthanize him at home. It's hard not to sympathize with this series of grief, pain, and loss. And of course, I absolutely do. But the conclusion that Auerbach draws -- that she can avoid living through all of that sickness and pain by getting her future dogs from a breeder -- is not only wrong, but potentially lethal to thousands of dogs. Rescue and shelter dogs are a crapshoot. Although it's hard to track down reliable statistics, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimates that about 3.9 million dogs go to shelters each year and 1.2 million are euthanized. Generally, these groups know only how an animal came into their possession. Behavior issues, illnesses or a high maintenance cost usually only rear their heads after adoption. Share this image Dog in Animal Shelter by Shutterstock. function changeWidth(obj) { if(parseInt($(obj).parent().width()) > parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) The sad fact is, that no matter how much we love them, the animals and people in our lives will become sick and infirm and die, given enough time. That's just an inevitable risk of love, rather than an argument for avoiding the shelter (or, in the case of people, OKCupid). The flaw in Auerbach's argument becomes apparent very quickly once you take a closer look at the history of her dogs. Mookie lived with her for more than 10 years, free of health problems, before his body started to get old and infirm and he died. How long would Mookie have had to live before she considered his life with her to be a good example of what you can get from adopting a shelter dog? The fact is, there are a lot of risks to buying a dog from a breeder as well. The risk-free certainty that Auerbach craves just doesn't exist. In fact, one of the problems with dog breeders is that decades of inbreeding is likely to magnify the risks of certain health problems by combining and recombining recessive traits, making them more likely to manifest than they would in a mutt. The examples of breed-related health problems are legion. Golden Retrievers, for example, have a 60 percent chance of dying of cancer, about twice that of other breeds. Bulldogs have respiratory problems because they've been bred to have very short snouts. There have been many responses to Auerbach's piece by dog lovers through social media and blogs. A quick survey of Twitter will show scores of people declaring that she should never own a dog again. What I consider one of the best responses comes from Lisa LaFontaine, president and CEO of the Washington Humane Society, who debunks Auerbach's claims with reason and facts: Reality, as reflected in research and hard data, simply doesn't support her conclusions. When animals develop a medical condition the chances are good that singular genetic or environmental factors -- or a combination of the two -- are at play. This is true for dogs who are purebred, and those who are mutts. It is true for those who come from professional breeders, casual breeders, and shelters. There are no guarantees of long-term health for any animal. It's a crapshoot all the way around. Having seen the surrender of untold thousands of animals in my career, I can pull back the curtain on a little known fact: Many of the dogs who come through my shelter, and shelters across America, originally came from a breeder. Some of them are with us because of a health condition the owner no longer wished to deal with. Share this image Husky in Cage by Shutterstock. function changeWidth(obj) { if(parseInt($(obj).parent().width()) > parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) Dogs die. It's a simple reality of being a dog owner, and you won't dodge that by going to a breeder. As LaFontaine points out, many of the dogs that you'll find at the breeder's are the exact same ones that you will find in the shelter. Getting your dog from a breeder will not prevent you from, sooner or later, having your heart broken. It will, however, mean that one more dog will languish in the shelter, waiting for someone to give him or her a home, perhaps in vain. Let us know what you think about Auerbach's decision in the comments below. Via The Washington Post and Huffington Post Read about what other dog owners experience on Dogster: Retractable Dog Leashes: How to Nearly Kill Yourself in Three Easy Steps Dog Owners Say the Wackiest Things to Trainers 5 Smart-Ass Answers to Stupid Pet Questions More...
  7. In Istanbul, Stray Dogs Get Their Food From Vending MachinesWed, 23 Jul 2014 12:00:00 -0700
    Like many cities, Istanbul has a problem with stray dogs and cats -- reportedly, 150,000 of them roam the streets, eking out a living by digging through the trash or relying on the kindness of residents for their food. Now, there's another option -- vending machines. They're scattered around parks and public areas in the Turkish city, dispensing food water to stray dogs and cats. It's a wild idea, but even wilder is how the machines work. They don't take money. They take plastic bottles. Share this image function changeWidth(obj) { if(parseInt($(obj).parent().width()) > parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) Share this image function changeWidth(obj) { if(parseInt($(obj).parent().width()) > parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) Share this image function changeWidth(obj) { if(parseInt($(obj).parent().width()) > parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) People insert their used bottle into a slot at the top of the machine, and a handful of kibble is dropped out. There's even a spot to dump unused water, which filters through the machine and fills a bowl at the bottom.    Share this image function changeWidth(obj) { if(parseInt($(obj).parent().width()) > parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) You might think: Why bottles? Well, that's how the Turkish company that installed the machines, Pugedon, pays for the food, using money it gets from recycling the bottles. It also has a nice side effect of keeping the streets clean, as well as promoting recycling. According to Elite Daily, after the company promised the government it wouldn't have to pay for anything, it was allowed to place the machine anywhere it saw fit. Now the boxes are scattered throughout this city of 15 million people.  Share this image function changeWidth(obj) { if(parseInt($(obj).parent().width()) > parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) Share this image function changeWidth(obj) { if(parseInt($(obj).parent().width()) > parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) Watch them at work: What do you think of this idea? Let us know in the comments.  Photos via Pugedon's Facebook page Via Elite Daily  Read about dogs in the news on Dogster: Would "Candy's Law" Solve the Problem of Cops Killing Dogs? What Do You Do During a Tornado When Your Dog Is Barred from the Storm Shelter? In One Touching Video, An Alzheimer's Patient Speaks Again -- To the Family Dog More...
  8. A Homeless Man Draws His Dog and Is Embraced by the Art WorldTue, 22 Jul 2014 14:00:00 -0700
    Before a Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy called George entered his life, John Dolan lived on a roller coaster of drug abuse, crime, prison, and life on the streets. Then a homeless woman dumped a puppy in his lap, and his life changed.  He was quite an aggressive dog and he would growl at you. He was also a cat chaser and weary of people. But within a month after I started training him, his personality began to change, Dolan told the Star Online. He became a really pleasant dog. Share this image function changeWidth(obj) { if(parseInt($(obj).parent().width()) > parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) And to care for that pleasant dog, Dolan needed money. So he started begging on the streets with the dog, and then moved onto sketching the dog and the scenes around him, then selling the work for pocket change, which came via a cup set out before the duo.  Share this image function changeWidth(obj) { if(parseInt($(obj).parent().width()) > parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) The sketches were good, and he sold a lot of them, making a name for himself among residents, passersby, and shop owners. One of those passersby was Richard Howard-Griffin, who runs street art tours and owns a gallery. He's always on the lookout for talent, and he found some right under his feet. Share this image function changeWidth(obj) { if(parseInt($(obj).parent().width()) > parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) He wondered whether Dolan might want to show his work in a group show featuring some of the biggest names in street art. Dolan agreed. The 2013 show was a hit. Dolan's work sold out, and his art career took off. Now, his sketches sell for more than $6,800 each, and he has just opened a solo show Howard Griffin Gallery, which focuses on him and George.  "The story of John and George is one of companionship and hope," writes the gallery. "Dolan was on the streets when he was given George in exchange for the price of a strong can of lager. Since that time, George has been Dolan's most loyal companion, ultimately enabling him to change his life. With George at his side, Dolan managed to escape a 20-year cycle of homelessness and prison, establishing himself as one of east London's most recognizable artists." Share this image function changeWidth(obj) { if(parseInt($(obj).parent().width()) > parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) The gallery presents the work in a distinct way, with hundreds of drawings hung on the walls, the repetition representing years of Dolan working on the street, turning out sketches of his dog, the one thing in his chaotic life he could count on. The show also celebrates the release of Dolan's autobiography John and George: The Dog Who Changed My Life, published by Random House. A solo show in Los Angeles is next.  Share this image function changeWidth(obj) { if(parseInt($(obj).parent().width()) > parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) Dolan's seemingly overnight success has delighted the man who discovered him.  I mean, Johns rise has been really meteoric in the art world. Its like watching an artists career in fast-forward -- which is really, really amazing, Howard-Griffin said. Theres a real relevance to his work, and theres a real soul in it because it has a true story behind it which is very inspiring, and thats born out of the work when you look at it. And while Dolan's life has completely changed, one thing has not: He still prefers to draw his dog outdoors, on that East London street, the two of them sitting in their customary spot.  The drawings that I do of him are quite simple, said Dolan. "These little ones that I do, I basically try and capture his personality if I can in all of them. Via the Star Online; photos via Howard Griffin Gallery Read about dogs in the news on Dogster: Would "Candy's Law" Solve the Problem of Cops Killing Dogs? What Do You Do During a Tornado When Your Dog Is Barred from the Storm Shelter? In One Touching Video, An Alzheimer's Patient Speaks Again -- To the Family Dog More...
  9. The Internet Steps Up to Save a Very Small, Very Brave DogTue, 22 Jul 2014 11:30:00 -0700
    Ezio, a Yorkshire Terrier who lives in Texas, weighs only 11 pounds, but his courage and loyalty to his family belie his tiny size. That was proved beyond a doubt last week when a neighbor's dog broke through the Long family's plywood fence and came towards Shannon Griffith Long's 3-year-old grandchild, Gavin. "The dog was 10 times the size of Ezio. This big giant dog, if it stands up, is as tall as me," Long told local TV station KHOU. "The dog is ferocious." Share this image function changeWidth(obj) { if(parseInt($(obj).parent().width()) > parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) It was an obvious mismatch, but Ezio distracted the neighbor's dog in the attack long enough for Gavin to get inside the house. But the Yorkie, of course, didn't have a chance. Long said, "he picks Ezio by his neck and lifts him and shakes and shakes and shakes and throws him down." Ezio lived -- barely -- but he may never walk again. It was considered a great victory when the family was able to post yesterday that the little dog was able to breathe on his own again. Among other things, the neighbor's dog crushed Ezio's trachea, broke his neck, tore muscles and ligaments, and damaged his spinal cord. Share this image function changeWidth(obj) { if(parseInt($(obj).parent().width()) > parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) The initial costs just to keep Ezio alive were $5,000, but it's going to take a lot more to bring him back to full health -- or at least as close to that as is realistically possible. "We don't have a lot of money. We have three kids and two grandkids," said Long. "My daughter emptied her bank account. My husband and I emptied our bank account. The doctor said, 'Well, you'll have to put him down.' I just can't do that. He saved Gavin's life, and I can't give up on his." Share this image function changeWidth(obj) { if(parseInt($(obj).parent().width()) > parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) If there's one good thing to come out of this, it's that a lot of people have given a lot of support for Ezio and his family. The Longs established a page on GoFundMe to raise money for Ezio's medical expenses and possible legal expenses for a civil suit against the neighbor. As of this writing, people have donated $23,679 to the fundraiser, exceeding the original goal. Share this image function changeWidth(obj) { if(parseInt($(obj).parent().width()) > parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) One of the bizarre qualities of the whole case is that unless Ezio dies -- which the Longs are doing everything in their power to avoid -- they have no legal recourse against the neighbor. The police have told Long that because no human was harmed and the dog survived, the most they can do is issue a citation. Of course, that will leave a sour taste in anyone's mouth. It's an unpleasant twist of law that is not only unjust to Enzio and the Longs, but practically ensures that other people and animals are endangered. But at the same time, it's heartening to see not only the dedication of Ezio against such overwhelming odds, but the willingness of so many complete strangers to support him and his family. Our support and best wishes go out to the Longs. Via Facebook, GoFundMe, and KHOU Read about what other dog owners experience on Dogster: Retractable Dog Leashes: How to Nearly Kill Yourself in Three Easy Steps Dog Owners Say the Wackiest Things to Trainers 5 Smart-Ass Answers to Stupid Pet Questions More...
  10. Catch Dogster HQ at SuperZooTue, 22 Jul 2014 09:00:00 -0700
    Just a quick heads-up for any Vegas-based Dogsters, or those of you who might be attending the SuperZoo conference on the strip this year: Dogster HQ is in town, and we'd love to see you.  Share this image Our bags are stuffed with swag! function changeWidth(obj) { if(parseInt($(obj).parent().width()) > parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) As you can see from the photo above, we've brought some Dogster (and Catster!) swag with us, and we'll be handing them out to you until we run out. The conference is at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center from today, July 22, through Thursday, July 24. In attendance are Community Manager Lori Malm, Managing Editor Vicky Walker, and Editor-in-Chief Janine Kahn -- that's us pictured up top! Share this image function changeWidth(obj) { if(parseInt($(obj).parent().width()) > parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) parseInt($(obj).width())) { $(obj).parent().css({'width':$(obj).width()}); } if(parseInt($(obj).width()) To find us, follow along on instagram (we're @Dogster), where we'll be posting photos of the cool and/or wacky pet products we see at the conference. Use #HQatSuperZoo to get our attention! We'll also be in and out of the I-5 Publishing booth, #10079, from 11 a.m. today onwards, so you can drop by there, too. (Lori is @pawpawrazzi on instagram, and Janine is @janinekahn if you want to follow our personal feeds as well!) See you at the 'Zoo! More...
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