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More Empathy for Battered Dogs than Battered Adults

August 9, 2013:

Adult human crime victims receive less empathy

Adults have more empathy for battered dogs and puppies than they do for battered adults, according to new research to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association in New York City, but the difference in empathy for children and puppies is statistically non-significant.

Researchers from Northeastern University studies the responses of 240 men and women who were randomly given one of four fictional news articles about the beating of a one-year-old child, an adult in his thirties, a puppy, or a 6-year-old dog. The stories were identical except for the victim’s identify.

The respondents were primarily white and between the ages of 18 and 25 and were asked to rate their feelings of empathy towards the victim.

The full study has not yet been released, but author Jack Levin, professor of sociology and criminology at Northeastern University, said in a press release that the study’s results highlight the complexities of human responses to age and species.

“The fact that adult human crime victims receive less empathy than do child, puppy, and full grown dog victims suggests that adult dogs are regarded as dependent and vulnerable not unlike their younger canine counterparts and kids,” Levin said.

Content Source: The Crime report

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Dogs help sniff out ovarian cancer in Pa. study

August 9, 2013:

The ovarian cancer detection study

Researchers trying to develop a diagnostic tool for ovarian cancer are hoping dogs’ keen sense of smell will lead them down the right path.

An early detection device that combines old-fashioned olfactory skills, chemical analysis and modern technology could lead to better survival rates for the disease, which is particularly deadly because it’s often not caught until an advanced stage.

Using blood and tissue samples donated by patients, the University of Pennsylvania’s Working Dog Center has started training three canines to sniff out the signature compound that indicates the presence of ovarian cancer.

If the animals can isolate the chemical marker, scientists at the nearby Monell Chemical Senses Center will work to create an electronic sensor to identify the same odorant.

“Because if the dogs can do it, then the question is, Can our analytical instrumentation do it? We think we can,” Monell organic chemist George Preti said.

More than 20,000 Americans are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year. When it’s caught early, women have a five-year survival rate of 90 percent. But because of its generic symptoms _ weight gain, bloating or constipation _ the disease is more often caught late.

About 70 percent of cases are identified after the cancer has spread, said Dr. Janos Tanyi, a Penn oncologist whose patients are participating in the study. For those women, the five-year survival rate is less than 40 percent, he said.

The Philadelphia researchers will build on previous work showing that early stage ovarian cancer alters odorous compounds in the body. Another study in Britain in 2004 demonstrated that dogs could identify bladder cancer patients by smelling their urine.

Dr. Leonard Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, said while the canine concept has shown promise for several years, there haven’t been any major breakthroughs yet.
“We’re still looking to see whether something could be developed and be useful in routine patient care, and we’re not there yet,” said Lichtenfeld, who is not involved in the study.

Cindy Otto, director of the Working Dog Center, hopes to change that with the help of McBaine, a springer spaniel; Ohlin, a Labrador retriever; and Tsunami, a German shepherd.

“If we can figure out what those chemicals are, what that fingerprint of ovarian cancer is that’s in the blood _ or maybe even eventually in the urine or something like that _ then we can have that automated test that will be less expensive and very efficient at screening those samples,” Otto said.

Ovarian cancer patient Marta Drexler, 57, is heartened by the effort. Drexler describes herself as a textbook case of the disease not being detected early enough because she had no symptoms.

After two surgeries and two rounds of chemotherapy, Drexler said she didn’t hesitate when Dr. Tanyi, her physician, asked her to donate tissue to the study. Last week, she visited the Working Dog Center to meet the animals whose work might one day lead to fewer battles like hers.

“To have the opportunity to help with this dreadful disease, to do something about it, even if it’s just a tiny little bit of something, it’s a big thing,” said Drexler, of nearby Lansdowne.

The ovarian cancer detection study is being funded by an $80,000 grant from the Madison, N.J.-based Kaleidoscope of Hope Foundation.

Content Source: Decatur

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Dogs yawn contagiously when they see a person yawning

August 8, 2013:

Dogs Yawn More Often in Response to Owners’ Yawns Than Strangers

Dogs yawn contagiously when they see a person yawning, and respond more frequently to their owner’s yawns than to a stranger’s, according to research published August 7 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Teresa Romero and colleagues from the University of Tokyo.

Pet dogs in the study watched their owner or a stranger yawn, or mimic a yawning mouth movement, but yawned significantly more in response to their owners’ actions than to the strangers’ yawns. The dogs also responded less frequently to the fake movements, suggesting they have the ability to yawn contagiously. Previous research has shown that dogs yawn in response to human yawns, but it was unclear whether this was a mild stress response or an empathetic response. The results of this study suggest the latter, as dogs responded more to their owners’ genuine yawns than those of a stranger. The researchers observed no significant differences in the dogs’ heartbeat during the experiments, making it unlikely that their yawns were a distress response.

Explaining the significance of the results, Romero says, “Our study suggests that contagious yawning in dogs is emotionally connected in a way similar to humans. Although our study cannot determine the exact underlying mechanism operative in dogs, the subjects’ physiological measures taken during the study allowed us to counter the alternative hypothesis of yawning as a distress response.

Content Source: Science daily

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Alberta man dies trying to save dog in rural New York

August 8, 2013:

Earl Gallant swam into pond to save dog

Saving a friend’s dog cost an Alberta man his life in rural New York.

Earl Gallant, 55, was staying in Campers Haven campground, about 10 km outside of the village of Bath, NY, when the incident happened last Wednesday evening.

Gallant, from Three Hills, 115 km northeast of Calgary, was staying in the campground for an extended period of time while working in the area, reportedly in oil and gas, said Jennifer Cole, an investigator with the New York state police.

His friend’s 14-year-old Labrador retriever, Max, had gone into a pond and couldn’t get out.

“The dog had bad hips and was just kind of circling,” said Cole.

Added fellow state police investigator Don Rodbourn: “The dog jumped in the pond and started to struggle so Mr. Gallant jumped in to try and save the dog.”

“(Gallant) just became exhausted and before anyone could get to him, he went under,” said Rodbourn.

“The dog did get out, the dog is fine.”

Reports have varied, but it’s believed Gallant was about six metres from the shore in water that was approximately 3 1/2 metres deep, said Cole.

“He just said (to his friend) he was running out of steam and he wasn’t going to make it,” she said.

Gallant’s friend rushed to get help and two state troopers and two county deputy sheriffs swam out to retrieve Gallant, who had been submerged for about 13-15 minutes, and bring him to EMS crews, said Cole.

“They actually were able get him back and took him to a local hospital where he was stabilized,” said Rodbourn.

He was not conscious but was breathing on his own, added Cole.

Gallant was airlifted from that hospital — Ira Davenport Memoria in Bath — to Robert Packer hospital in Sayre, PA, but he died there Saturday.

His wife travelled to New York, said Cole, but added it’s not known if any other family members also made the trip.

Content Source:

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Growls over new SPCA dog run turn to praise

August 8, 2013:

Happy comments once SPCA explains better to use cement than soil to avoid disease

After initial public concerns that the SPCA’s new concrete run pad built over an old grass one was wrong-headed, everyone appears happy now. When the Burlington-Hamilton SPCA posted on its Facebook site last week that it had a newly built concrete run pad for the dogs, the organization faced a blast of criticisms. “Are you serious … nice place to lay on a hot summer day … really!!” said a response posted on the site under the name Eileen Hart. Another comment, posted under Kayla Mollon, said “concrete can actually burn their feet if it’s hot outside. More grass would have been better.” And another, under Cathy Salako Spiak, said, “Grass and dirt is natural … digging and rolling … even a dirt yard would feel better … I don’t feel this project was well thought out.” The SPCA responded with an explanation: “This particular … area was previously unusable as soil is a porous surface that is impossible to sanitize and many parasites and infections will not only live but thrive in the moist damp soil for weeks, months and even years. “Most of the dogs that arrive at our shelter have not been dewormed prior to arrival and many do not have a good medical history. While in the process of getting them completely updated after they arrive, they may be shedding parasites that can infect other shelter animals. Some of these parasites include Whipworm, which can live in the soil for years and is very hard to treat … the decision was made that concrete is the optimum material to insure ease of daily cleaning and sanitation to prevent illness and parasitic infestation …” The tone of the Facebook comments reversed, with many saying they were glad to learn of the reason for the concrete pad and praising the SPCA for its care of animals. Marion Emo, head of the local SPCA, told The Spectator the fenced-in, 47-by-51-foot new concrete pad replaces the former dog run consisting of earth, grass and gravel — “a diseased space” that was unused for about three years. “This (concrete) pad provides us with more enrichment for the dogs,” Emo said. The pad has shaded areas from two trees and tarps can be used there to provide more shade, she said. It will also have drinking water and water tubs for the dogs to cool off in hot weather, she added. She said there are still lots of grassy areas and a dog park around the shelter and their volunteer dog walkers use those. The concrete “allows us to clean it (the run) easily every day … we hose it down daily.”;

Content Source: The Spec

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Dog dies after saving his owner from bear

August 6, 2013:

Black bear shot by park officials, caught in a live trap and later destroyed by the MNR

A 42-year-old Thunder Bay, Ont., man has his schnauzer to thank after surviving a black bear attack at a provincial park in northwestern Ontario.

The man, who has been released from hospital, was attacked Saturday afternoon by a mature black bear while he was camping at Sand Bar Provincial Park. The dog died following the ordeal.

Ontario Provincial Police in Ignace said the man was on a walk with his two dogs and taking a break near the water when he was attacked from behind by the bear.

The man got away by running into the water, where he waited until the bear eventually went away.

He later attempted to walk back to his camp site, but the bear came back and attacked him again, police said.

One of the dogs, a schnauzer, attempted to fend off the bear, allowing the man to get away. He ran to the park ranger station, where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and transported to Dryden Regional Health Centre.

The bear was shot at by park officials and was later caught in a live trap. Ministry of Natural Resources conservation officers, along with the K9 unit, helped to track the bear.

The bear has since been destroyed, the MNR reports, and has been sent to Guelph to be tested for rabies and to check its stomach contents to confirm it was the bear from the attack.

Content Source: CBC

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Man blew up dog after dispute with daughter VIDEO:

August 6, 2013:

Law states he cannot be charged with animal cruelty because dog died instantly

STEVENSON, Wash. — Law-enforcement officials said a man who was arrested for allegedly attaching an explosive device to his dog and detonating it on Sunday killed the dog after a dispute with his daughter.

Christopher W. Dillingham, 45, was charged with reckless endangerment and possession of an explosive device.

Sheriff’s deputies were sent to Dillingham’s home just before 4 a.m. after multiple people called 911 reporting that they heard an explosion.

Sheriff Dave Brown coincidentally lives nearby. He said the explosion woke him up.

“Sounded like a high-powered rifle going off just outside my window,” Brown said.

Responding deputies said they found the remains of the dog on Dillingham’s property. They also found Dillingham throwing furniture from his house.

Investigators believe Dillingham attached the explosive device to his yellow lab’s neck and detonated it.

Undersheriff Dave Cox said Dillingham wasn’t initially accused of animal cruelty because the charge requires proof of animal suffering and in this case, “death (to the dog) was instantaneous.” He said prosecutors might file such a charge later.

“I don’t think anybody in my office or prosecutors or the criminal justice system will sit back and say the dog is no big deal,” Brown said. “I think it’s a tragedy.”

The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms as well as the metro area’s bomb squad responded to Dillingham’s home and seized several pieces of evidence, Cox said.

A law-enforcement official said late Monday night the Dillingham killed the dog in retaliation after a fight with his daughter. The official asked to remain anonymous, citing the ongoing investigation.

No property damaged was reported, as Dillingham detonated the device outside in his yard.

Records show Dillingham owns and operates a fireworks stand in the Stevenson area called the “Thundershack” and also puts on a fireworks show for neighbors.

Dillingham remains in jail on $500,000 bail.

Former owner of dog reacts

Ty Freemantle says he just gave the dog to Dillingham’s family six months ago.

Freemantle used to live in Stevenson but had to move to Washougal within a week for a new job. His best friend said he knew someone who would make a good new home. He knew Chris Dillingham’s daughter.

To Freemantle, the dog was Cabela, his one-of-a-kind companion. He found her on Craigslist when she was just six weeks old. They spent the next few years together hunting, farming and hanging out.

When Freemantle had to move, he did his due diligence. He checked out property, met the woman who would take him and took his best friends’ word.

But now he can’t shake the feeling that it wasn’t enough.

“I felt a little bit of guilt too. It’s the worst part,” Freemantle said.

So he’ll do what he can now by sharing Cabela’s memory and fighting for the maximum penalty against her accused killer.

Content Source – Man blew up dog:

KATU News reporters Dan Cassuto and Erica Nochlin contributed to this report

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SPCA angry after dog-cruelty charges dropped against Amish breeder

August 6, 2013:

52 dogs were removed from farm

Amish dog breeder Jonas Beachy felt he was pursued and prosecuted out of the false belief that his simple sect somehow treats animals worse than the “English” do.

Thirty-four counts of animal cruelty were filed against the Pickaway County man after 52 dogs were removed from his farm on Oct. 1. Many of the dogs had dental disease, feces-smeared coats and paws mangled by wire-mesh cages.

The Ohio Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals thought it had built a solid case against Beachy. It demanded that Circleville Law Director Gary Kenworthy take the misdemeanor case against Beachy to trial on Wednesday.

However, Kenworthy conditionally dismissed the charges against the Laurelville-area man yesterday, due to “evidentiary roadblocks” in securing the records of veterinarians scattered across Ohio who treated Beachy’s dogs.

Beachy, 58, agreed not to raise dogs for sale over the next year unless their care is supervised by a veterinarian. Kenworthy said the Ohio SPCA should consider it a “victory” to have saved Beachy’s dogs and shut down his “puppy mill.”

Teresa Landon, executive director of the Ohio SPCA in Grove City, objected to the outcome. “We’re horrified. This was a clear case of cruelty. Ohio law is clear. When you neglect an animal to this extent, it is cruelty.”

Beachy’s attorney, James Kingsley of Circleville, accused the SPCA of mounting a “crusade against Amish breeders.”

He added: “Mr. Beachy is most pleased. Despite Mrs. Landon’s loud bark, (the case) lacked evidentiary bite.”

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“Animal-cruelty laws apply to everyone,” said Teresa Landon, executive director of the Ohio SPCA.

The conditions of many of Beachy’s dogs were best attributed to neglect, such as a lack of grooming and veterinary care, rather than cruelty, Kenworthy said in a statement.

“Education on the proper standards of care expected of breeders was felt to be the most-essential outcome … especially given Mr. Beachy’s Amish heritage and the customs apparently common for breeders among the Amish community,” Kenworthy said.

Puppy-mill legislation passed by lawmakers will prohibit Beachy from operating as a “high-volume breeder” unless he meets stricter animal-care requirements, Kenworthy said.

Landon said many dogs had only contaminated water to drink, some lost all of their teeth, and others required multiple surgeries to be restored to health for adoption.

“Mr. Beachy felt he was being persecuted because he is Amish and the fact they live differently, but that had nothing to do with it. Animal-cruelty laws apply to everyone,” she said.

Content Source: The Columbus Dispatch

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Pug History Ancient To Present


History of the Pug

According to the London Zoological Society, the Pug is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. Ancient Chinese documents state that short-nosed dogs with the description matching that of the Pug existed in China at around 700 BC. These dogs were only breed and owned by the emperors. It is believed there is an ancient Chinese law whereby only the emperor was allowed to own a Pug, anyone other than the emperor could only own a pug if it was a gift from the Emperor himself, Illegal ownership of a Pug was punishable by death. The Pug had there own living quarters and servants within the royal palace and commanded the highest respect. Emperor, Ling (168-190 AD) was so taken that he gave these small dogs ranks, the females received the same rank as his wives. He also ordered that these small dogs are to be guarded by soldiers and fed only the best meat and rice.

The exact origin of the Pug is still under dispute some believe they originated from the chiang-sze, (later shortened to lo-sze During the Dynasty of Yuan (1206-1333 AD)), Others believe they originated from a little shorthaired dog with a flat nose and a tail worn curled on it’s back called the Ha-Pa and claim this ancient dog is the grandfather of today’s Pug.

The spread of the pug is said to have happened when the Dutch discovered China andpet it dogs canada started trade, the sailors smuggled Pugs out and took them home to the Europe where because of there small size become quickly popular as companions to the upper classes and nobility.
Pug history has it that when William the Silent invaded England, he took his Pug with him on the conquest and one night, as the Prince slept, assassins crept up on his tent. His Pug heard them and jumped up barking, and saved his master life. In 1688, the pug became the official dog of the Dutch royalty – the House of Orange. As Prince William travelled from Holland to England, to ascend his throne, his pugs attended the ceremony wearing orange ribbons.

Around 1736, the pug was the secret symbol of “The Order of the Pug” (Mopsorden), and the Freemasons.
Another Pug history story states that Josephine, before her marriage to Napoleon Bonaparte, had a pug named Fortune. When they got married in 1796, Napoleonpet it dogs canada refused to let the pug come up to their bed at night. The pug reportedly bit Napoleon in the leg and Josephine announced that if the dog would not stay in the bed then neither would she. From then on Napoleon shared his bed with a Pug and Josephine. Later Josephine depended on her Pug to carry secret messaged under his collar to her husband while she was imprisoned at Les Carmes.
Pugs remained popular through the 18th century, but slipped in popularity in the early 19th century. After 1860 a new wave of pugs were imported from China with shorter legs and the now-familiar “pug nose”. There Popularity again grew when pugs became a favourite of Queen Victoria – who banned the cropping of pugs ears, feeling it was unnecessarily cruel.

Pugs only made it to America shortly after the American Civil War.

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor were probably the most famous pug fanciers in the 20th century. They took their pugs, (along with their pugs’ personal chefs and “pooper scoopers”) with them to almost all social activities. Pugs became popular in the United Stated in the 20th century both as pets and show dogs.
In the mid 20th Century pugs again seemed to go out of fashion but again started to make a comeback aftepet it dogs canadar the 1997 Hollywood movie Men in Black starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones where a fawn Pug played the part of Frank the alien. This role was later expanded in the 2002 sequel Men in Black II.


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San Diego Airport has nation’s 1st dog bathroom VIDEO:

August 4, 2013:

 “Pet Relief” restroom includes fake hydrant for “aiming”

Lindbergh Field’s dog-gone good when it comes to poop time.

The billion-dollar expansion includes the nation’s only “Pet Relief” airport comfort station, located between Gates 46 and 47 in Terminal 2 West.

The 75-square-foot space includes fake grass and a hydrant, two deodorizers, a hand washing station and complimentary baggies. Maintenance workers clean the restroom twice a day.

Airport spokeswoman Katie Jones could not break out the cost of the facility, opened in April between the men’s, women’s and family bathrooms. But she said it’s been well received and national news outlets have taken notice. Colm Marmion, airport customer service coordinator overseeing accessibility issues, suggested the idea, she said.

“I’ve received calls from NPR, Reddit, Huffington Post,” she said. “A national game show made it a question. We’ve really gotten a lot of attention and it’s been very positive.”

“That’s excellent news,” blogged Amanda On the website, a comment from Amanda called the reports “excellent news.’

“Hopefully more airports will consider air-side relief stations,” she said. surveyed airports around the country and found that San Diego was the only one with a specially designed enclosed dog bathroom.

Tom Rossbach, director of aviation architecture at HNTB, the Lindbergh expansion’s design firm in Kansas City, said his office came up with the idea as a way to comply with TSA requirements for pet relief areas.

“We’re offering that to our other airport clients,” he said.

Lindbergh has four other outdoor pet relief areas, but passengers must exit the terminals and pass through security again to return to their departure gate.